Social Care Data and Cyber Security Discovery Programme

The Local Government Association, in collaboration with the Care Provider Alliance and Department of Health and Social Care has been awarded funding to undertake a discovery programme to assist the adult social care provider sector in managing business risks associated with data and cyber security.

The funding has been allocated from the National Cyber Security Programme which works with cross-government partners to improve cyber resilience across UK public services.

It is being used to commission a one-year programme, to conduct on-site research and provide support to a range of adult social care providers in three local authority areas.

The LGA, Care Provider Alliance and Department of Health and Social Care are working collaboratively with the Institute of Public Care – Oxford Brookes University to understand the level of risk for those providers and identify what additional support may support the sector.

Increasingly, the sector is adopting technology to support care delivery and this is improving digital connectivity both within social care providers as well as information sharing with other organisations such as local authorities, NHS and other partners. 

Legislative changes, such as the introduction of GDPR, and new data security and protection requirements will affect how organisations, including care providers, manage people’s data and information.  

The discovery programme will support the sector in this area and develop:

  • An understanding of common and current data and cyber security risks faced by the adult social care provider sector.
  • An assessment of the effectiveness of existing support for adult social care providers.
  • A prioritised set of evidence-based recommendations on supporting the sector to minimise identified risks.

North Yorkshire County Council, Central Bedfordshire Council and the Royal Borough of Greenwich have been selected to take part in the programme and on-site practical support will be delivered to a range of care providers operating in those areas.
Elected Mayor Kate Allsopp, Digital Lead on the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“Both councils and adult social care providers take seriously their role in keeping sensitive information safe and secure. With increasing digitisation across adult social care there is a constant need to review and strengthen data and cyber security arrangements to ensure that the right protections are in place.

“This is also important given the important sharing of information that takes place between different health and social care organisations such as GPs, councils, care homes and home care organisations. This helps to ensure that the care and support they deliver is coordinated and person-focused.

“This discovery programme taking place in three local authority regions will assist individual councils and care providers, help share good practice and identify areas where there may be further opportunities to ensure the safeguarding of personal data is as strong as possible.”

For more information on how changes in information governance legislation affects care providers, please visit this link.