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Found 26 results
  1. News Article
    Five NHS trusts in the South West have been ordered to make immediate improvements after the death of a 20-year-old prisoner who needed healthcare. Lewis Francis was arrested in Wells, Somerset, in 2017 after stabbing his mother while “acutely psychotic” and taken into custody. Although his condition mandated a transfer to a medium secure mental health hospital, there was “no mechanism” in place to move Mr Francis and he was taken to prison, where he died by suicide two days later, according to a coroner. Contributory factors to his death included “insufficient collaboration, communication and ownership between and within organisations… together with insufficient knowledge of… the Mental Health Act,” according to Nicholas Rheinberg, the assistant coroner for Exeter and Greater Devon. In a Prevention of Future Deaths report, Mr Rheinberg said a memorandum of understanding was in place for the transfer of “mentally ill prisoners direct from police custody” in the West Midlands, and he called on the South West Provider Collaborative to agree a similar deal with “relevant organisations and agencies”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 14 July 2020
  2. Content Article
    This web page includes information on: What is a 'death in custody'? Death following contact with the Police Handling of death in custody cases Who investigates deaths in custody? Who advises on charge and prosecutes death in custody cases? Self-defence and Reasonable Force CPS contact with families The Coroner The Inquest.
  3. News Article
    Prisoners in Britain frequently have hospital appointments cancelled and receive less healthcare than the general public, a new study has found. As many as 4 in 10 hospital appointments made for a prisoner were cancelled or missed in 2017–18, with missed appointments costing the NHS £2 million. The in-depth analysis of prison healthcare by the Nuffield Trust think tank examined 110,000 hospital records from 112 prisons in England. It revealed 56 prisoners gave birth during their prison stay, with six prisoners giving birth either in prison or on their way to hospital. The Nuffield Trust said its findings raised concerns about how prisoners are able to access hospital care after a cut in the number of frontline prison staff and a rising prison population. Lead author Dr Miranda Davies, a senior fellow at the Nuffield Trust, said: “The punishment of being in prison should not extend to curbing people’s rights to healthcare. Yet our analysis suggests that prisoners are missing out on potentially vital treatment and are experiencing many more cancelled appointments than non-prisoners.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 26 February 2020
  4. Content Article
    Key findings 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.
  5. Content Article
    What is the Skills and Support Toolkit? The online toolkit written by INQUEST, is an interactive resource that aims to build a range of skills, from organising information relating to the inquest, speaking in public, to handling media attention. Families have helped to create the skills toolkit, giving bereaved individuals the much needed support and ability to communicate their concerns and calls for change. "The Skills and Support Toolkit can provide you with practical advice needed to continue and maintain your day to day life at a time when even the simplest of tasks can seem insurmountable, or help you develop the skills needed to mount a campaign." - Mother of a child who died in prison.
  6. News Article
    Levels of self-harm in prisons have hit a new high, with more than 60,000 incidents in a year, official figures show. The number of self-harm incidents was up 16% to 61,461 in the 12 months to September 2019, when there were 53,076, according to data released by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Prison reform campaigners have criticised the government for failing to respond effectively to serious mental health problems and called Thursday’s figures a “national scandal”. Deborah Coles, the Director of the charity Inquest, said: “Despite investment and scrutiny, the historical context shows that still more people are dying in prison than ever before. A slight recent reduction in the number of deaths comes alongside unprecedented levels of self-harm, while repeated recommendations of coroners, the prison ombudsman and inspectorate are systematically ignored." "This is a national scandal and reflects the despair and neglect in prisons. Despite this, the health and safety of people in prison appears to be very low on the agenda of the new government." Read full story Source: 30 January 2020
  7. Content Article
    This thematic review presents a detailed analysis of claims made after an individual has attempted to take their life.Claims relating to completed suicide and attempted suicide are reviewed, regardless of whether the claim resulted in financial compensation. It identifies common problems with care and provides recommendations for improvement to support service delivery. Results The results are split into two parts. The first part analyses the problems identified from the clinical details of each claim and the second part analyses the quality of the serious incident reports. Part one identifies recurring clinical themes and areas for improvement. Five areas where there were common issues in clinical care are discussed in depth: substance misuse communication, particularly failures in intra-agency working risk assessment observations prison healthcare. Part two identifies four main areas of concern, where: There was a lack of family involvement and staff support through the investigation and inquest process. The quality of root cause analysis undertaken as part of the Serious Incident (SI) investigation was generally poor and did not focus on systemic issues. Due to the poor SI report quality, the recommendations arising from SI investigations were unlikely to reduce the incidence of future harm. Reports to prevent future deaths (PFDs) were issued to trusts by the coroner with little consistency and there were poor mechanisms to ensure that changes in response to the PFDs had been made or addressed the issues highlighted.
  8. Content Article
    The report argues for a fundamental rethink about the use of prison and calls for a political boldness to implement evidence-based change. The vulnerabilities of young prisoners have been well documented by countless research, investigations and inquest findings, yet they continue to be sent to unsafe environments, with scarce resources and staff untrained to deal with their needs. Based on INQUEST's specialist casework with the families of the prisoners who died, the report found that: 83% were classified as “self-inflicted”. The highest number of deaths occurred in HMYOI Glen Parva (six) and HMP Chelmsford (four). A further casework sample of 47 young and child deaths also found that: 30% of those who died were care leavers or had suffered some kind of family breakdown which required them to live outside of their immediate family home. 70% had mental health issues and 49% had self-harmed previously. A critical concern is that prison establishments have not learned lessons from previous deaths in prisons; too many deaths occur because the same mistakes are made time and again. In the light of these concerns, this report considers the implications and reasons behind prison deaths since 2011. Lastly, the report stresses the need for new thinking and new strategies if such deaths are to be avoided in the future.
  9. Content Article
    It highlights the findings from inquests that took place between January 2018 and April 2019, including that of Emily Hartley, Annabella Landsberg, Jessica Whitchurch, Natasha Chin, Nicola Jayne Lawrence and Sarah Maria Burke. Also included is updated statistics on the deaths in women's prisons, noting that there have now been 106 deaths (to 10 May 2019) since the 2007 Corston Review. To prevent deaths in women’s prisons, INQUEST is calling on government and parliamentarians, policy makers, practitioners and campaigners to recognise women’s imprisonment as a form of structural violence against women; honour international treaty obligations to safeguard vulnerable women and girls; and work together towards eradicating outdated and failing women’s prisons. Key INQUEST recommendations in the report: Redirect resources from criminal justice to welfare, health, housing and social care. Divert women away from the criminal justice system. Halt prison building and commit to an immediate reduction in the prison population. Review sentencing decisions and policy. An urgent review of the deaths of women following release from prison. Ensure access to justice and learning for bereaved families. Build a national oversight mechanism for implementing official recommendations.
  10. Content Article
    The new research maps the provision of safer custody telephone lines across the prison estate - dedicated phone lines which enable family members and others to pass on urgent information when they have concerns. It finds that provision is patchy, under-resourced and even non-existent in some prisons, leaving families struggling to share their concerns with prison staff. The report reveals that: Almost two in five (37%) prisons in England and Wales appeared to have no functioning dedicated safer custody telephone lines for families to get in touch. Of these, nearly one in five prisons (18%) had no publicly advertised number for a dedicated safer custody telephone line. A further 18% of prisons advertised a dedicated line, but when called the number either wasn’t operational, was not answered, or went through to a general prison switchboard. Of the 75 dedicated safer custody telephone lines that went through to safer custody departments, only 13 (17%) were answered by a member of staff. Over 80% of dedicated safer custody lines that went through to safer custody departments (62 prisons in total) put the caller straight through to an answer machine.
  11. Content Article
    The report makes the following recommendations: National review: the government should proceed with its national review of deaths of people on post-release supervision in the community following a custodial sentence to establish the scale, nature and cause of the problem. Data: more detailed and accurate data should be made available along with regular reporting to the Minister responsible and Parliament alongside the publication of an annual report. Investigations: deaths of people on post custody supervision should be investigated by an independent body with adequate resources allocated to allow this to happen. There needs to be a threshold for this with a range of factors taken into account. Improve scrutiny and learning: the Government needs to confirm oversight at a local and national level.
  12. Content Article
    The report by INQUEST sets out the following recommendations to improve safety and prevent future deaths: 1. Halt prison building, commit to an immediate reduction in the prison population and divert people away from the criminal justice system. 2. Prison staff, including healthcare staff, require improved training to meet minimum human rights standards to ensure the health, well-being and safety of prisoners. 3. Ensure access to justice for bereaved families through the provision of automatic non-means tested legal aid funding for specialist legal representation to cover preparation and representation at the inquest and other legal processes. Funding should be equivalent to that of the state bodies/public authorities and corporate bodies represented. 4. Establish a ‘National Oversight Mechanism’ – a new and independent body tasked with the duty to collate, analyse and monitor learning and implementation arising out of post death investigations, inquiries and inquests. This body must be accountable to parliament to ensure the advantage of parliamentary oversight and debate. It should provide a role for bereaved families and community groups to voice concerns and provide a mandate for its work. 5. Ensure accountability for institutional failings that lead to deaths in prison. For example, full consideration should be given to prosecutions under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act, where ongoing failures are identified and the prison service and health providers have been forewarned. The reintroduction of The Public Authority (Accountability) Bill would also establish a statutory duty of candour on state authorities and officers and private entities.
  13. Content Article
    Guidelines and information on: healthcare in prisons in England healthcare for offenders in the community in England healthcare for offenders in Wales Community Sentence Treatment Requirements National Partnership Agreement for Prison Healthcare in England 2018-2021.
  14. Content Article
    This guideline includes recommendations on: hand decontamination use of personal protective equipment safe use and disposal of sharps waste disposal long-term urinary catheters enteral feeding vascular access devices. Who is it for? commissioners and providers healthcare professionals working in primary and community care settings, including ambulance services, schools and prisons children, young people and adults receiving healthcare for which standard infection-control precautions apply in primary and community care, and their families and carers.
  15. Content Article
    This report highlights where improvements can be made in the communication between health and prison systems to improve patient safety and provides valuable insights, which will guide the work of partner organisations committed to improving the quality of healthcare in prisons through the National Prison Healthcare Board for England. A summary and the final full report are available.
  16. Content Article
    This National Partnership Agreement sets out: the defined roles of the five partners the commitment to working together and sharing accountability for delivery through the linked governance structures core objectives and our priorities for 2018-21, and a link to the workplans that provide the details of the activities to deliver priorities how they are working together to improve data and evidence so that they can better understand the health needs of people in custody and the quality of health and social care services delivered to people in prisons.
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