TECH TALK: Stepping up information governance in social care

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Published in Care Home Professional

Person Centred Software founder, Jonathan Papworth, explains the importance of understanding information governance in social care.

My father has driven a car for most of his life, he still drives, but has never passed a driving test. The reason: during the war he was classified as an essential worker and was given a driving licence without any test in order to do his job. A situation that was appropriate at the time, but one we would not tolerate today.

Similarly, people working in social care have been documenting personally sensitive information without being tested on their understanding of information governance. Just like needing to pass a driving test before driving a car, the opportunity for people to have access to personally sensitive information without being tested on information governance will not be tolerated in future.

There is already a standard for information governance that has been created by the NHS called the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT). This was recognised as being too challenging for social care providers so an entry level equivalent was created, but this has been decided to be insufficient to guarantee good information governance.

A new version of the DSPT, specifically for social care, is being launched in early 2021, and this is likely to become a necessary threshold that all social care providers will need to meet in the coming years. The DSPT is being used as a threshold necessary for social care providers to access NHS Mail and other NHS information sources. As the world of health care and social care become more connected, meeting the DSPT standards for information governance will become the key to the door of information interoperability.

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