Data Security and Protection Toolkit / NHSmail for social care

NHS England recognise that improving the transfer of information between health and social care offers substantial benefits. This is why supporting care homes and domiciliary care providers to complete the new Data Security and Protection Toolkit (DSPT) has been a key priority for them this year. Completing the Data Security and Protection Toolkit to ‘entry level’ or higher will allow social care providers to subsequently join NHSmail.

To support care providers on this journey, the Care Provider Alliance has also published guidance to support care providers to complete the toolkit to ‘entry level’ as well as ‘standards met’. NHS Digital also regularly run Data Security and Protection Toolkit webinars, details of which can be found at

Once the toolkit has been completed organisations can join NHSmail free of charge via a National Administration Service.

DSPT Training and resources

DSPT (Data Security and Protection Toolkit) training and update events focussed on Social Care providers take place regularly. To find about the forthcoming events, click here. If you can’t make it you can watch a recording from the 29th February.

Trusted assessors

Trusted assessors are someone acting on behalf of and with the permission of multiple organisations, who carries out an assessment of health and/or social care needs in a variety of health or social care settings. The purpose of using a trusted assessor is to speed up assessment processes, where there would otherwise be delays.
The Hospital to Home team worked with NHS Improvement, the CPA, LGA, and ADASS to produce a trusted assessor Essential Elements guide as well as a frequently asked questions document to support local systems to effectively adopt this initiative. The publication of this guidance was supported by a series of detailed webinars. A recorded version of one of these webinars is available for you to watch here.

Red Bag

The ‘Hospital Transfer Pathway’ or ‘Red Bag’, pioneered by Sutton Homes of Care Vanguard, helps provide a prompt, safe and efficient transfer of clinical care, when a person moves between a care home and other clinical settings, such as; hospitals or ‘step up’ and ‘step down’ beds. The Hospital Transfer Pathway – ‘Red Bag’ Quick Guide was launched in June 2018 and its publication was accompanied by a Parliamentary event! The guide was also accompanied by a series of webinars, a recorded version of one of these webinars can be found here.

There is also a wealth of information and regular discussions about hospital transfer pathways on the Enhanced Health in care Homes online collaboration platform. Please email if you would like to join this resource.

NHS Long Term Plan

The NHS Long Term Plan was published on 7th January 2019 and sets out a 10 year vision for the NHS. The plan sets out several major practical changes to the way services are delivered, including several proposals relating to integrated care for older people;

  • Ageing Well – A preventative programme that aims to support early identification of people living with moderate frailty, where possible improve this and/or prevent the progression of this condition.
  • Urgent Community Response –  A programme that aims to increase the capacity and responsiveness of community services.
  • Enhanced Health in Care Homes – A programme that will roll out the successful Enhanced Health in Care Homes model nationally to help address variability in access to health care and ensure that all care home residents receive holistic/integrated care.

Regional contact details

  • Ruth Holt (North)  – Happy to be contacted on any subject.  The work programme in the north has particular emphasis on – capacity tracking systems (including the national roll out of the Capacity Tracker), falls prevention (guidance to launch in Feb), DSPT/NHS mail, continence, red bags, flu prevention (inc recognition with certificates of achievement), React2Red (pressure ulcer prevention).
  • Rachel Fox (Midlands & East)  – Rachel is happy to be contacted for any queries. Philip Tomalin is also happy to be contacted ( ) and can help specifically around NHSmail.
  • Susan Glanfield (South West)  – Susan is happy to be contacted as a central point of enquiry about matters that relate to EHCH, and the closer working of Care Providers across Social care and health services.
  • Keith Hardy (South East) :  Happy to be contacted on any subject.
  • Jane Sproat (London)  – Enquires can also be sent to whilst both Jane and the team are primarily EHCH focused, they have advised that they should be the first contact point within the London team and would then signpost appropriately.