It is widely known that prisons in England and Wales are crowded and facing severe difficulties, but the health and health care use of the prisoners within has received little attention. Drawing on over 110,000 patient hospital records for prisoners at 112 prisons, this study from the Nuffield Trust provides the most in-depth look to date at how prisoners’ health needs are being met in hospital.
- Prisoners use hospital services far less and miss more hospital appointments compared with the general population.
- There is a noticeable drop in emergency admissions to hospital from the prison population in December. This is something that is not seen in the general population.
- Prisoners have particular health needs related to violence, drug use and self-harm. Injury and poisoning were the most common reason for prisoners being admitted to hospital.
- Hospital data reveals potential lapses of care within prisons for certain groups of prisoners, particularly pregnant women and prisoners with diabetes.