Social Care is getting deeper into digital
Digital has arrived in social care. Read on to learn more…
If you haven’t felt the full force of the GDPR stress-wave that seems to be breaking over the country, then you are one lucky person. It’s true, there will be some people who it simply doesn’t affect at all, but for those who operate in any kind of situation where the collection and storage of data is undertaken (and that’s quite a lot of us), things are changing. GDPR is a long over-due beefing-up of the Data Protection Act, and you would expect such a change to have consequences. And it does.
But I’m not going in to the whole GDPR topic in depth here – it’s far too complex to be tackled in a short blog, (although we do offer training support and GDPR policies if you need them). This post is just a quick heads-up about a few issues we have noticed here at Insequa recently, that tie in to the shift towards greater reliance on digital – and how this directly impacts those working in Social Care.
Our core business here at Insequa is the successful writing of compelling and persuasive social care tenders for the public sector. We are the leading tender writers for social care in the UK and we’re proud of our 90% win rate. Our work places us right at the heart of how local authorities are behaving – tender specifications will always reflect the priorities, worries and concerns of councils, and as such they’re an accurate barometre of how things are ‘on the ground’. If you’re looking to tender for a care contract in the near future, you should be aware of some shifts in council behaviours our unique position has enabled us to pick up on.
As with many people, we’re seeing councils seeking Variation Agreements to encompass the new GDPR changes. These agreements cover the need to update existing contracts Local Authorities have with care providers, to ensure they are covered under the new regulations. If you are currently contracted by a Local Authority or CCG to deliver care provision, depending on how switched on their Data Protection Team is, you will either have received information already about this, or it will be on its way to you. GDPR kicks in on 25thMay 2018, so time is of the essence.
Do you have Cyber Attack Insurance?
Another way digital is changing the world for us in social care, is in the field of security. Following the WannaCry Ransomware cyber-attack last year that compromised the NHS, we’re seeing an increase in councils specifically requesting coverage for cyber-attacks included in professional indemnity insurance. If your social care organisation doesn’t have it, it may be possible to add it to your existing policy, but this will cost – next time you renew, consider seeking out insurance that includes this type of cover already. We predict this is definitely a trend that will gather momentum as the danger of cyber-attacks coupled with heavier reliance on digital infrastructure, becomes more widely accepted across the sector.
CQC Insight Tool
The Care Quality Commission aren’t about to be left out of the digital party – their shiny and new Insight Tool has been launched to trawl the digital hinterland, collecting disparate data and mentions of your care company, to build an accurate profile of how you’re doing. The CQC are committed to ‘delivering an intelligence-driven approach to regulation.’ The CQC want to utilise information gathered from a range of sources, including the general public, inspections, care providers, service users and whistleblowing incidents, with the intention of generating rapid insight and action. The complex Insight algorithm will use information it gathers to determine risk and target resource – the marshalling and interpreting of all this data will influence the frequency of inspections and the level of CQC attention you receive. The introduction of the new online form, the PIC (Provider Information Collection), ties in with the shift towards digital across the board for all social care providers, and the information submitted will be part of the bigger digital picture. This is perhaps a good time to remind you, that here at Insequa we can assist with CQC Inspection Support (including PIRs and PICs).
Money for digital
And finally, if you were in any doubt that digital wasn’t front of mind for everybody in social care, new funding is announced. Innovative Uses of Digital Technology in the field of Adult Social Care will be rewarded with a fund from NHS Digital and Managed by the Local Government Association with support from ADASS (Association of Directors of Adult Social Care).
How will it work?
Twelve authorities get a £20,000 injection of funding to design a digital fix for a specific issue with their service, with six authorities receiving an extra £80,000 to support the implementation.
So there you have it – some insider tips on the unstoppable march of digital across the social care landscape. If you need any help with tender writing, CQC Inspection Support, compliance software or social care policies – give us a call here at Insequa. We’re savvy with digital, but we’re not robots. We’re warm, living and breathing human beings who understand the value of great social care and the hard work that goes into its provision.
0115 896 3999.