Prison Healthcare

Prison Healthcare

Why Prison Healthcare

ABL Health were commissioned by NHS England to develop Health Councils in 35 prisons in the North of England. This is in line with NHS England’s “Framework for Patient and Public Participation in Health and Justice Commissioning” (2017). Commissioners need to hear from patients about their needs, experiences, and expectations of prison healthcare to ensure that effective and efficient services are commissioned and delivered.



What We Do

Patient involvement in designing and monitoring services results in a greater understanding of the challenges of delivery and is evidenced to improve involvement and co-operation. Patients within a range of settings report increased skills through communicating, collecting views from colleagues, attending meetings, relaying information, forming opinions, reporting findings and collaborating with other patients and staff. Involvement projects in prisons have reported on increased skills and self-esteem which are essential in the prevention of reoffending and gaining employment.

ABL Health facilitate focus groups, interviews, visit men and women on residential units, create surveys and send letters to men and women in prison gathering their views and recommendations to improve their healthcare services. As part of this, ABL Health have been involved in additional projects such as regional adult social care reviews, immunisation, and cancer screening reviews and many more.

ABL Health have seen some fantastic results as part of their work within this service. Working across 35 prisons, many changes and improvements have been made directly from prisoners’ recommendations and ideas.

In addition to these fantastic results, ABL Health have provided a voice to many prisoners who are seldom heard and are experts in their own care.


Procurement Project Of The Year

One of the most significant and exciting projects this service has been involved in, is the prisoner involvement in the procurement of healthcare at HMP Wymott and HMP Garth. Within these prisons, the healthcare provider contract was up for tender and ABL Health were asked to support a serving prisoner through the process of being a moderator within the commissioning process.

The staff were able to work with the offender management unit within HMP Kirkham, an open Category D establishment, to identify an individual “J” who would be suitable for this project. Working in partnership with NECS (North of England Commissioning Support), the team were able to provide J with the relevant training he needed to be able to take part. They supported him to independently evaluate all of the provider bids submitted for this procurement, and supported him whilst he spent a week with panel at consensus, discussing all of the bids and being a recognised and respected voice when it came to reaching a consensus on the successful bid.

The key stakeholders reported that J was an excellent addition to the panel and provided an alternative insight, which allowed the stakeholders to consider patient care at the heart of the service. J stated this work made him feel valued, respected and provided him with new, transferable skills that may support him to gain employment. He said this project boosted his confidence and self-esteem and has requested to volunteer with ABL Health following his release.

Following this piece of work ABL Health & partners were awarded the HSJ Partnership award for “Procurement Project of the Year.

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