Edition 6

Subpage Hero


12 Apr 2024

Digital Care Hub

Digital Care Hub Hall: N7 - N10 Stand: G01
Digital Care Hub

Digital Care Hub is the sector-led advice and information service for the care sector on everything digital (we were previously known as Digital Social Care). We’re here to help care providers along their digital journey – from tentative first steps, such as the introduction of digital care records, through to innovative thinking about emerging issues such as the pros and cons of AI.

We’ve witnessed a remarkable transformation over the last three years. For example, care providers have really grasped the importance of protecting their systems and often sensitive data from cyber attacks or accidental data breaches.

Better Security, Better Care – the programme hosted by Digital Care Hub – has seen a massive four-fold increase in the number of care providers using the Data Security and Protection Toolkit  (DSPT) to check and improve their policies, procedures and practices. Almost 70% of all care providers now have the DSPT in place – compared to just 14% in 2021. That is a greater level of increase than any sector within the NHS – so take a bow social care! That really is something to celebrate.


AI in social care
Digital Care Hub can help you with new and challenging developments. For example, we recently brought together a group of sector leaders to consider the implications and ethical usage of generative AI – such as ChatGPT - in social care.

People in social care are already using generative AI to help them in their jobs and there are clearly a lot of opportunities to harness. It can be used to help write workplace policies, summarise meeting notes, and even suggest activities for people you support.

There are also some risks with using generative AI and it’s important that care services are aware of the risks so that it can be used safely. AI relies on statistics to create content based on likely outcomes and there is a risk that if it’s used to generate care plans it could only produce something generic.

Digital Care Hub is working with colleagues in the sector to identify the challenges and how to manage the risks so that social care can responsibly use AI while upholding the core values of our sector.


Staff training

Another key issue we support care services with is managing data and cyber security risks. Our award-winning free support programme, Better Security, Better Care, is dedicated to helping providers navigate some of those challenges.

Obviously we say you should use the Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) as this will prompt you to consider the policies, procedures and practices that you should have in place.

But it’s important you implement what it asks for to get the most out of it. For example, we know that most data and cyber security breaches occur because of human error. Therefore it’s paramount that staff are trained to understand the risks.

Care providers have told us that they struggle to access relevant training on data protection for their staff. We developed our own free elearning programme for frontline care staff that covers the key issues they need to consider. www.digitalcarehub.co.uk/elearning


Add digital and data to your business continuity plan

Most successful cyber attacks involve data theft. You may not have been the primary target, but you may still be the victim. For example, if your software supplier is affected, then you will also be affected. Developing a business continuity plan and considering how you can access back ups to keep information flowing will help you to manage the impact of a cyber attack.

Make sure your plans are regularly reviewed and tested. To help you on your way, we’ve produced a guide and template plan. And we have recently published a useful audit tool to help you and your local authority commissioners to review your business continuity plans. www.digitalcarehub.co.uk/businesscontinuity


Update your Data Security and Protection Toolkit by 30 June

The DSPT is the most comprehensive tool you can use to check and improve your data protection and cyber security arrangements. It opens up potential access to funding for digital social care records, shared information systems with NHS, and it is recognised by the CQC and commissioners as a source of evidence.

But that only applies if it is up to date. Because things change, you must complete your DSPT at least once a year. If you don’t, it isn’t valid and can’t be used as evidence. The deadline for completing the 2023/24 DSPT is 30 June 2024.

We continue to provide free support to help you complete it – including updated online guidance, webinars, tailored support from 28 local support organisations across England, and a national helpline.



Whether you’re taking your first steps on your digital journey – or looking for the latest news, Digital Care Hub can help.

Come and meet the Digital Care Hub team on Stand G01



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