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Prison health to improve

13th April 2011

A national prison healthcare IT system has been installed in all prisons and young offender institutions across England.

Prison Wire

Ministers say that will enable healthcare staff in prisons to be better placed to tackle the health needs of prisoners.

The system will give clinicians round-the-clock access to up to date medical information making it less likely that the physical and mental health needs of prisoners and young offenders go undetected.

It will also mean that prisoners will benefit from improved continuity of care as they move between prisons, with medical records immediately and securely transferred from one prison to another.

There will also be less time wasted on administrative tasks by more than 5,000 healthcare staff who are using the system at 136 English prisons and young offender institutions, including three immigration centres where the NHS is responsible for healthcare.

The final prison to go operational with the system was HMP Feltham.

Care services minister Paul Burstow said: “This provides a firm foundation to take offender health forward in a digital age. The ability to access prisoners’ medical records when they are needed, from the first moment that they are received into a prison, is crucial to the delivery of effective healthcare.”

Louis Appleby, National Clinical Director for Health in Criminal Justice said: “Prisoners usually have complex and multiple healthcare problems, which are treated by different members of the healthcare team, so the system has a major role to play in supporting team-working and ensuring healthcare professionals are sighted on all aspects of the treatment being provided.”

 

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