Care providers can now gain access to NHSmail, once they have completed the entry level of the online Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT), NHS Digital has announced.
NHSmail is a free email service available to social care providers. It is a secure and efficient way of sharing clinical and care information with health and care providers, enabling greater integration between the two.
NHSmail can be accessed from mobile devices as well as desktops and includes a full directory of all health and care NHSmail users.
The DSPT is an online self-assessment tool for data security, supporting organisations to ensure that they have the right processes and practices in place to manage and hold data safely.
It is mandatory for providers who provide care through an NHS contract, though all providers are encouraged to complete it if they hold, process and share data.
Developed in collaboration with the Care Provider Alliance, the entry level of the DSPT has been specifically designed for care providers.
It is time-limited and is a stepping stone for providers towards completing the full toolkit, showing how they comply with data protection legislation and best practice.
Completing the toolkit will support care providers to take steps towards complying with nationally recognised standards of data security.
Wendy Clarke, executive director of product development at NHS Digital, said: “There are two key benefits to this entry level version of the DSPT. Firstly, it enables care providers to share information more easily and securely with the NHS. This can only lead to better, more integrated care for patients and improved ways of working for health and care professionals.
“Secondly, it supports care sector organisations to demonstrate to their regulatory body that they are managing and holding data securely and safely. Information will flow faster, with fewer delays and smoother processes, freeing up staff to focus on those in their care.”