Improvements are being made after the death of a former prisoner who died from advanced lung cancer one month after being released from prison.

The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has now published his report into the death of JT Jackson, who died aged 44 on Christmas Eve in 2022 in Ipswich.

The report explained that Mr Jackson was released from HMP Wayland on November 22, 2022, and was living at Lightfoot House Approved Premises in Fuchsia Lane at the time of his death.

Mr Jackson was sentenced to four years and six months imprisonment on November 19, 2020, after being convicted of assault.

The report explained that Mr Jackson was seen by nurses at Wayland several times in November. He said he had had a cough since mid-October, which was slowly getting better, and that his right lung felt weaker than his left when he was lying down. He had also coughed up blood in his sputum and had a gurgling sound under his right rib.

Mr Jackson’s case was discussed with a GP at Wayland, and he was diagnosed with an infection of the lower respiratory tract and prescribed antibiotics.

On the day of his release, Mr Jackson’s family picked him up from the prison. 

They were concerned as he was pale and “slumped” in the back of the car and struggling to breathe. They suggested taking him to hospital, but Mr Jackson said he should go straight to Lightfoot House to comply with his licence conditions.

Over the next few weeks, Mr Jackson registered with the Derby Road GP Surgery. He was seen by a GP and received blood tests at Ipswich Hospital.

On December 20, Mr Jackson visited the office at Lightfoot House, struggling to breathe and in distress. An ambulance was called.

Mr Jackson died in hospital with his family by his side. A post-mortem showed that he was suffering from advanced lung cancer.

The findings from a report into Mr Jackson’s death have now been published.

The ombudsman found that the clinical care Mr Jackson had received at Wayland was “of a good standard”. They also found it was reasonable that the GP at Wayland did not immediately refer him for a chest X-ray, and instead prescribed him antibiotics.

However, the report said that the medical discharge letter given to Mr Jackson on his release from prison was “inadequate”, as it only contained details up to November 2019.

There was also no evidence that Mr Jackson had been seen by healthcare staff on the day of his release, although he had been seen the day before. The report said steps have now been taken to ensure all prisoners are seen by healthcare staff on the day of their release.

The report has also said that in future, medical discharge summaries for released prisoners should include full details of their current needs.

The Head of Healthcare should also ensure that full clinical observations are taken and recorded when assessing patients, including a National Early Warning Score, which is used to detect acute deterioration.