The Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) is a really helpful annual self-assessment for health and care organisations. It shows care providers what you need to do to keep people’s information safe, and to protect your business from the risk of a data breach or a cyber attack. It covers both paper and digital records.

When you complete the toolkit, you can publish and share information about the standard you have reached, and how you are improving your policies and practice.

Access to shared systems and NHSmail

The DSPT opens up potential access to shared systems, as the toolkit reassures NHS colleagues that care providers are operating to the same data security standards as NHS bodies. By completing the toolkit and achieving ‘Standards Met’, care providers can access the following systems:

  • GP Connect
  • Local shared care records
  • Proxy access to GP records
  • Proxy access for medication ordering
  • Summary care records

NHSmail is a free, secure email system available to care providers. NHS bodies require care providers to use secure email systems if they are communicating with them. To access NHSmail, care providers should reach ‘Approaching Standards’ or above on the toolkit.

Support and guidance: Better Security, Better Care programme

Better Security, Better Care is a national and local support programme to help care providers to improve their data and cyber security by completing the DSPT.

It includes a range of useful resources to help you to use the toolkit, as well as practical support from a network of local support partners across England, national support for large care providers, and a dedicated helpline.

Find out more about the Better Security, Better Care programme, including how to contact your local support group or the national team at Digital Social Care.


If you have questions about the DSPT, you can check our FAQ. If you cannot find the answer to your question please contact us.

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