New rules on how health and social care organisations manage and control data come into force this week.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which replaces the current Data Protection Act 1998, is implemented on 25 May.
Chief Social Worker Lyn Romeo said: “Trust between service users and social workers, Occupational Therapists and other social care staff is vital, and the safeguarding of personal data is an important element of this. GDPR will strengthen the controls so that anyone accessing social care can feel assured that their confidential data is being stored and managed safely and responsibly.”
GDPR is designed to ensure that the date about patients is collected with their consent and only for the reasons they signed up for.
The Department of Health and Social Care said there would be a greater emphasis under GDPR on how care organisations manage data breaches.
Healthcare providers will need to appoint a data protection lead who is responsible for overseeing the handling of sensitive personal data. In addition, they will be required to report any data breach within 72 hours as part of a drive to boost transparency and accountability.
To be data protection ready go to www.ico.org.uk