Prison inmates to get new health service

INMATES at Hollesley Bay and Warren Hill prisons will have hugely improved healthcare from next month.A new partnership is being set up between the Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust and prison service for the PCT to take over the prisons' healthcare services – one of only a handful of such arrangements in the country.

INMATES at Hollesley Bay and Warren Hill prisons will have hugely improved healthcare from next month.

A new partnership is being set up between the Suffolk Coastal Primary Care Trust and prison service for the PCT to take over the prisons' healthcare services - one of only a handful of such arrangements in the country.

Ana Selby, chief executive of the PCT said the prison governors, senior staff and health care professionals all wholeheartedly backed the new partnership.

"We will be able to work together to tackle some of the wider health and social problems such as mental health, substance misuse and communicable diseases, to bring about real health improvements for some of the most vulnerable people in the community," she said.

"Local people will not be disadvantaged in any way as there is separate funding for prison health care."

Governor of Hollesley Bay, Michael Wood said: "Many prisoners and in particular juvenile offenders have horrible healthcare backgrounds with very little contact with the NHS.

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"Major work has to be undertaken to assess, educate and prepare prisoners for resettlement based around health.

"Partnership between the Prison Service and the Department of Health is aimed to improve the overall availability and standard of healthcare within prisons.

"Ministerial approval to transfer Hollesley Bay and Warren Hill prison healthcare to the Suffolk Coastal PCT acknowledges and recognises this positive work and will allow for its ongoing development."

The transfer to the PCT will take place on April 1 and follows a rigorous assessment and the drawing up of comprehensive prison health plan.

Most of the health care professionals working at Hollesley Bay and Warren Hill will be employed by the PCT. Chris Warner has been appointed as the prison health strategic development manager.

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