Following the Health and Justice Commissioning Intentions 2015/16, which set out NHS England’s commissioning intentions for health and justice services, there has been significant progress to ensure that prisoners benefit from a more integrated and seamless model of health care within the prison service whilst reducing the cost of using prison guards to escort and bed watch when prisoners were taken out of the prison for appointments and treatments.
As a result of a competitive procurement process, we are delighted to announce that GP Care has been successfully chosen to deliver two services within five prisons in the South West. Under the name InspireBetterHealth, GP Care will be working collaboratively with Bristol Community Health (the prime provider), Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, Hanham Health, Time for Teeth, Homecare Opticians, Day Lewis Pharmacy and Sirona care & health CIC.
InspireBetterHealth aims to improve the health and wellbeing of prisoners as well as inspiring them to take ownership of their own health by offering a complete and integrated health care service. This innovative idea will also reduce the need for patients to be escorted off site, at huge cost, for primary care appointments and treatments that can now be provided in house. By encouraging prisoners to make positive health choices, the hope is that they will start to make positive choices in other areas on their life too.
As with many of our counterparts, GP Care has experience of successfully providing a service within the prison environment. In 2012, GP Care was presented the HSJ Award for Primary Care and Community Service Redesign award for the Ultrasound Service provided at HMP Eastwood Park since 2008.
In addition to the Ultrasound Service we will be providing an Audiology assessment and hearing aid fitting service for patients with hearing problems. This builds upon our existing success providing audiology services within the community. We successfully held our first clinic on Wednesday 6th April, when our audiologist was able to assess three patients, two of which were assessed for fitting of hearing aids.
We are excited to be given the opportunity to further develop both services by holding clinics at HMP Eastwood Park, HMP Bristol, HMP Ashfield, HMP Leyhill and HMP Erlestoke and look forward to positive relationships with all involved with InspireBetterHealth.