'He won't ask anymore'

Some people's loved ones lose faith and feel that making health apps isn't worth it. They decide they would prefer not to ask for care in prison rather than have the uncertainty of not knowing if they'll receive the support they've asked for. Others say that the care available in prison isn't suitable and choose not to request it.  ​

Some background

Healthcare providers and the NHS tell us that lack of patient engagement is a common reason why people in prison don't receive care. Of course, if patients aren't willing to step forward and request care – or if they refuse care when it is offered, then it's not possible to deliver healthcare services to them.​

We've been reassured that, whatever the challenges of delivering care in prison, the healthcare staff still have the same level of qualifications and accreditations that all health professionals must have across the NHS. They must follow the same rules and regulations as other doctors, nurses and clinicians – and their licence to practice will have been granted by the same professional bodies. There are regulators who inspect their services and check whether the care they provide is high-quality and safe.​

It's understandable that your loved one might feel hesitant, but they might end up receiving care more quickly if they request it in prison, rather than waiting to ask when they are back in the community. ​

Our top tips

  • Don't give up. Other people have been successful in getting the care they need in prison.​
  • If necessary, ask on behalf of your loved one.​
  • Build your loved one's self-esteem and let them know that, regardless of what they've done, they still deserve to be cared for. Give them encouragement and remind them that not all staff interactions will lead to a bad experience.​
  • Come to our monthly Coffee Morning in central London to meet people in the same boat and benefit from shared experiences (Contact listentofamilies@prisonadvice.org.uk for details).​ ​