Friday, 27 November 2015

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Health services not up to scratch at Cumbrian prison

Health services at Cumbria’s only prison are not up to scratch, say inspectors.

Haverigg prison photo
HMP Haverigg

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has called for improvements to be made at Haverigg Prison, near Millom. It follows an inspection at the jail in January this year.

In a report, published this week, the CQC calls on the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – which is responsible for health services at the prison – to take action to rectify the problems.

Issues flagged up include long waits for prisoners to be seen, lack of resources and concerns about the suitability of healthcare facilities. The trust provides health services including GPs, nurses, dispensing, and mental health services at the jail.

Of the five standards of care assessed, two need improvements.

Inspectors said: “Care and treatment was not always delivered in a way that was intended to ensure prisoners safety and welfare.”

It was found that prisoners could have to wait a minimum of two weeks to get an appointment. However emergencies were usually seen within 48 hours.

Also, when they were taken to the health centre in a group, prisoners often had to wait for hours and often had to stand outside.

Mental health services were deemed to be effective, with about 50 prisoners receiving treatment at the time of the inspection. However due to a lack of staff, there were a further 25 still waiting to be seen.

But inspectors added: “The trust were dependant on the prison to provide them with adequate and suitable space.”

The trust has now been told to take action to improve the care and welfare of service users and the safety and suitability of the premises. It was however deemed to be meeting the required standards when it came to cleanliness and infection control, management of medicines, and assessing and monitoring quality of services.

A statement from the trust said: “Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is pleased with the areas of good practice that have been noted in the report.

“An action plan to address these issues highlighted has been drafted and is being implemented.”


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