Prison healthcare inquiry launched

27 April 2018

The Health and Social Care Committee explores the effectiveness of prisons and prison healthcare services in meeting the physical and mental health, and social care, needs of prisoners.

Healthcare in prisons

The Government’s stated intention is that prisoners should experience the same level of healthcare as the general population. However, reports by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons, the National Audit Office, the Public Accounts Committee and the Justice Committee raise concerns about: the mental and physical health of the prison population, including high incidences of suicide and self-harm; the social care needs of older prisoners; health risks arising from the prison environment; prisoner’s access to healthcare; and the recruitment and training of the healthcare workforce in prisons.

Terms of Reference

As part of this inquiry, the Health and Social Care Committee are seeking written evidence on the following areas:

  • The effectiveness of prisons and prison healthcare services in the management of the physical health, mental health and social care needs of prisoners. This includes the extent to which prisons and prison healthcare services effectively identify, treat and manage the health and social care needs of prisoners, including prisoners with:
    • long-term conditions
    • disabilities and social care needs; and
    • urgent and emergency health issues, including incidences of suicide and self-harm
  • The safety of prisons and the impact of the prison environment on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of prisoners and prison staff, including the health implications of prison living conditions, overcrowding, time out of cells, access and use of psychoactive substances, and violence within prisons.
  • The effectiveness of the oversight, commissioning and regulation of prisons and prison healthcare services in safeguarding and improving prison health. 

The closing date for written submissions is Monday 21 May 2018. Submissions should not exceed 4000 words.

  • Send a written submission to the Prison healthcare inquiry

Further information

Image: PA

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