Kate Henderson-Nichol, MA, RN, RM, RHV, AdvDipCoun, Cert Supervision, Coaching and Mentoring.
Prison Health Development Co-ordinator, North East Leeds Primary Care Trust
The drive to develop health care in the Prison Service to bring it in line with the high standards prevalent in the NHS continues to have a high profile. It is a major part of the primary care trust agenda and has included giving primary care trusts (PCTs) the responsibility for health-care delivery in the jails in their area, effective from last April.
The work of the Leeds group - which includes HM Young Offenders’ Institution, Wetherby, HMP Wealstun and HMP Leeds - resulted in the formulation of a Prison Health Improvement Plan. It centres on developing a coherent integrated approach to strategic planning for health improvement, well-being, health-care service provision and treatment within the prison health-care system.
Among the strategies to improve health-care provision in prisons is the ‘settings’ approach or ‘whole institution’ approach.
Last year saw the launch of the Up Front project, which has pushed back the boundaries of health promotion. (The name was chosen by local young people in the community as they wanted to be able to talk to health professionals who could be up-front with them.) The programme now includes the young men within the juvenile custodial setting at Wetherby.
Health, social, voluntary and youth services are all involved in the project and visit Wetherby once a month, covering a wide variety of topics in groups of up to eight trainees. The topics covered range from sexual health, healthy lifestyles, cancer awareness, drugs and substance misuse to aromatherapy, reflexology, self-awareness, self-esteem and hygiene.
Professional development planning is a key component in enabling health-care staff to provide the highest levels of care for this group of young men. All staff at Wetherby have the chance to undertake appropriate training and education programmes through links established with local higher education providers and local professional development departments.
Department of Health. (2000) The NHS Plan. London: The Stationery Office.
Marshall, T., Simpson, S., Stevens, A. (2000) Health Care in Prisons: A health care needs assessment. Birmingham: Department of Public Health and Epidemiology, University of Birmingham.
Yorkshire and Humber Region. (2002) Regional Resettlement Framework: Consultation document. Leeds: YHR.
World Health Organization. (1948) Constitution of the World Health Organisation. Geneva: WHO.