As data security and protection continue to grow in importance and complexity, a host of new standards and laws have been enacted to safeguard individuals whose sensitive data is collected, used, stored, shared and disposed of. For healthcare entities, it’s vital to properly protect patient healthcare information while delivering quality patient care and meeting strict regulatory requirements, such as HIPAA and the EU’s GDPR. With the help of tools like the National Health Service (NHS) Data Security and Protection (DSP) Toolkit, organizations can assess their performance and compliance with current data security and protection standards.

In this post, we’ll provide an overview of the NHS DSP Toolkit, including what it is and why it’s essential, three best practices for maintaining good data security, and how OneTrust helps healthcare providers those that handle patient data demonstrate compliance.

Interested in the NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit? Get started today.

What is the NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit?

The NHS DSP Toolkit is an online self-assessment tool that enables organizations to measure their security performance against the National Guardian’s ten Data Security Standards (NDG Standards). Applicable to all organizations which have access to NHS patient data and systems, the DSP Toolkit Standard provides organizations with a framework to demonstrate that the NHS data they access and hold is processed securely. Organizations processing NHS data must self-assess on an ongoing basis, requiring action from both an organization’s privacy and information security teams.

As organizations move further into the age of technology, it becomes more challenging to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of protected information. With the help of the DSP Toolkit, organizations can ensure more comprehensive protection for the data they process while maintaining commitments to GDPR compliance, employee data security and protection training, and incident response.

Practicing Proper Data Security

Maintaining compliance and security isn’t about quick fixes and doesn’t stop after an internal policy is written or a new privacy notice is published; it takes year-round practice. Here are three tips to help organizations maintain proper data security and remain committed to creating, keeping and managing records in compliance with NHS DSP Toolkit Standards.

  • Provide data security training to employees. In today’s world, it’s essential that all employees accessing protected information complete appropriate annual data security training and pass a mandatory test, in addition to implementing regular password protection on their company devices. This helps to make certain that personal, confidential data is handled, stored and transmitted securely, but also helps to reduce errors and increase compliance.
  • Establish standards for handling data and responding to incidents. Having a continuity plan in place to respond to threats to data security, including significant data breaches and near misses, is required. With this plan, organizations can remove and actively mitigate risks and quickly respond to incidents related to protected information.
  • Use secure technology and keep it up to date. The products and solutions in place to handle protected information must not only meet and comply with security requirements, standards and laws, but should also minimize the risk of a breach while remaining efficient, effective, current. As a best practice, make sure all data security and privacy technology platforms have controls and processes in place to safeguard protected information and continuously improve the privacy and security of customer data.

How Does OneTrust Help with NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit Compliance?

OneTrust helps both public and private sector organizations comply with the standards set out in the Toolkit with dedicated DSP self-assessment templates. OneTrust offers a suite of technology solutions and professional services designed to support organizations from the initial implementation of the Toolkit standards all the way through to ongoing compliance. With OneTrust, organizations from all 4 DSP categories can run first-time and follow-up DSP assessments, identify where and how NHS data is being processed across the organization, and manage and investigate any incident or breach involving NHS data.

Leverage OneTrust to:

  • Become an expert in all aspects of the Toolkit via OneTrust DataGuidance research portal, and assess your organization’s obligations and plot out operational requirements.
  • Operationalize your NHS DSP compliance program by identifying where NHS data is held, secured and processed by your organization.
  • Automate and enhance your operations to ensure ongoing compliance with the NHS DSP Toolkit

The NHS DSP Toolkit follows the general principle that organizations should maintain the security of personal information, and with OneTrust, organizations can confidently improve their security and privacy processes to support key requirements of the GDPR.

Learn how OneTrust can help you implement the NHS DSP Toolkit, or to request a live OneTrust software demo, visit or email [email protected].