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Gap in care for chronically ill prisoners

Prisoners are at risk of being transferred without crucial medication, according to the latest Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) report.

The report reveals errors and delays in the prison healthcare system. The investigation looks into the case study of Martin, a 43-year old inmate, who suffered multiple seizures after his epilepsy medication wasn’t transferred with him to a new prison.

Each day around 120 prisoners with ongoing medication needs are moved between jails. Martin’s case is just one example of a serious outcome when medication was missed. Prisoners may also need to be treated in the community at local hospitals, with prison security staff being taken away from planned duties to accompany them.

Dr Lesley Kay, Deputy Medical Director at HSIB and a Consultant Rheumatologist, has experience of working with prisoners that have long-term conditions: “I have seen first-hand the impact that the lack of medication management can have on patients, particularly when they have long-term conditions. This also places additional pressure on an already stretched NHS and prison service.

“With over 2,400 transfers a month where medication is needed, we recognise how busy prison healthcare staff are and how challenging it is to get medication to the right place at the right time. We know that the system needs to be better and the recommendations we have made are aimed at making the whole process smoother and safer for everyone.”

Read story and full report

Source: HSIB, 10 October 2019


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