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A survey of primary and specialised health care provision to prisons in England and Wales.

Cornford, C. S. and Mason, J. and Buchanan, K. and Reeves, D. and Kontopantelis, E. and Sibbald, B. and Thornton-Jones, H. and Williamson, M. and Baer, L. (2008) 'A survey of primary and specialised health care provision to prisons in England and Wales.', Primary health care research & development., 9 (2). pp. 126-135.


Background Prison health care in England, including primary care, is now incorporated into the National Health Service; the impetus for the change is in part due to concern about standards of health care within prisons. The demographic characteristics and health status of patients within prisons are relatively well understood, as are the problems faced by health care professionals. Less is known about current health care provision. Aims To describe the organisation of primary health care and specialised services in prisons and compare services available to different types of prison. Method A piloted questionnaire was sent to the governors of all prisons in England and Wales for completion by the health care manager. Findings Completed questionnaires were received from 122 (89%) of 138 prisons. The survey showed a low use of information technology (IT). Problems were reported with the recruitment and retention of general nurses in more than 50% of prisons. Prisoners in category A/B (higher security) prisons had available to them a greater range of health care services compared with those in other prisons. The results suggest that provision of services for chronic diseases and improvements in IT are needed. Problems with the recruitment and retention of general nurses need addressing. The reasons why lower-security prisoners are receiving a narrower range of specialised health care services compared with higher-security prisoners need justifying.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Chronic disease, Delivery of health care, Prison health, Quality of health care.
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Publisher statement:© Copyright Cambridge University Press 2008. This paper has been published in a revised form subsequent to editorial input by Cambridge University Press in "Primary health care research & development" (9: 2 (2008) 126-135)
Record Created:13 May 2010 11:50
Last Modified:24 Mar 2017 13:22

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