News In Focus
MSPs to investigate healthcare in prison
Access to and the effectiveness of healthcare in prisons is to be investigated by MSPs on Holyrood's Health & Sport Committee.
The committee has issued a call for evidence as it begins a short inquiry which will look at how healthcare is delivered in prisons and the cost of the service, as well as current and future pressures on the delivery of prison healthcare.
In 2011 responsibility for the provision of healthcare in prisons transferred from the prison service to the NHS. It is now the responsibility of the local integration authority. The Committee will be writing to each authority to establish facts around budgets and costs of the service, staffing and facilities, demand, performance and service development.
Views from others interested are invited on questions including current pressures and how they have been responded to; the extent to which health inequalities can be addressed in the prison healthcare system; current barriers to using the system to improve the health of the prison population; potential improvements to current services; and expected pressures in the next 15 years.
Committee convener Neil Findlay MSP commented: “The whole purpose of transferring prison healthcare from the prison service to the NHS was to reduce health inequalities, encourage better access to treatment and improve the continuity of care. Five years on, this committee feels it is an appropriate time to investigate how successful this has been.
“Prisons offer a unique opportunity to reduce health inequalities by engaging with people who are not on the radar of the healthcare system due to their often chaotic lifestyles. As with care in the wider population, there is also an aging prison population which will require care for multiple long term conditions.”
Click here to view the call for evidence. The deadline for responses is 28 February 2017.