A care home has become the first of its kind in England to match NHS information governance standards after bringing in IT specialists to help it update both its technology and staff culture.
Marches Care, which runs The Uplands care home, in Shrewsbury, is the first private care home in the country to have met the demanding specification required to be granted an NHS Mail account and match the same benchmark for information governance required of NHS hospitals.
The milestone was achieved as part of a major project with Telford-based Bespoke Computing, which carried out a thorough review of IT systems and hardware at the home before embarking on a programme of upgrades and replacements. This was backed-up by training and support for staff to ensure they were familiar with key security practices and comfortable with the new systems and protocols for ensuring data security.
Chris Pallett, managing director at Bespoke Computing, explains: “For Marches Care to effectively work alongside the NHS, it had become imperative that it adhere to the NHS’s stringent Information Governance standards. We were drafted in to make configuration changes to the existing systems and spend time with the team to introduce new best practices.”
Because information governance is a fast-moving area, Bespoke Computing will maintain a focus on future strategy as Marches Care evolves and grows, including ongoing review of security measures required to satisfy ever-developing information governance protocols.
Carey Bloomer, nursing director at Marches Care, said: “We interact with partners in the NHS and social services all the time, so a key objective was to upgrade both our own IT systems and information governance procedures. We are extremely proud to be the first private care home in England to have secured a dedicated NHS Mail account, allowing the free-flow of digital information between our organisations, and also the first care home to have reached the same level of information governance as NHS hospitals.”