chapter  20
18 Pages

Health professionals in prisons

ByMorag MacDonald, Paul Fallon

Providing healthcare to patients detained in prison is a crucial and challenging task. Some of the challenges arise from the complex medical and social needs of the patients and the difficulty of establishing and maintaining therapeutic relationships with them. Other challenges relate to environmental and structural factors such as: high levels of staff and patient turnover, overcrowding, facility fitness for purpose, regimen and lack of patient empowerment. The task is none the easier for having been transferred from Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS) to the National Health Service (NHS), for although the latter may be better placed to help obviate the challenges, its recent restructuring has meant that the pace of development has been slower than anticipated.