Professor Jim Mcmanus Appointed New Chair Of Pact (1)



Professor Jim McManus appointed new Chair of Pact

Professor Jim McManus has been appointed as the new Chair of Pact (Prison Advice and Care Trust). 

Jim is the National Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health Wales and has previously held several senior posts in the health sector, including roles at Hertfordshire County Council and as President of the UK Association of Directors of Public Health. He has also been a pro-bono public health advisor to Pact.

Jim holds a range of academic and advisory roles, and his expertise in public health, psychology, influencing and strategy is sought at the highest levels. He is a Fellow of the International Society of Science and Religion and has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Hertfordshire’s School of Life Sciences since 2015. 

The appointment comes at a time when Pact is increasingly focusing on the healthcare of prisoners and what more can be done to ensure that families and carers can play a greater role in the care of their loved ones inside. 

The health of people in prison is at historically low levels – prisoners have a life expectancy 20 years younger than the general population. Half of prisoners have a mental health problem; rates of self-harm are near record levels, and one in three prisoners has a serious drug addiction.  

In the last 12 months, Pact has: 

  • Published its ‘Nobody’s Listening’ report, which sets out the experiences of families caught up in the justice system. It concluded that involving families more proactively in prisoners’ healthcare would reduce deaths in custody, relieve pressure on the NHS and reduce reoffending. 
  • Ramped up delivery of its ‘Listen to Families’ pilot project with NHS London. The first of its kind, the pilot offers families the chance to shape how prison healthcare services are delivered and developed. 
  • Signed an innovative new partnership with Oxleas NHS Foundation to improve the experience of patients and families in the prison system. 

Professor Jim McManus said: “This is a great time to be joining Pact as the charity continues to grow and provide its crucial services to ever greater numbers of people. It’s an honour to represent an organisation whose staff work so tirelessly to support prisoners and their families to make a fresh start.  

“The challenges facing the criminal justice system are well documented, but Pact makes a difference to people’s lives every day. In particular, there is a major opportunity to improve prison healthcare by involving families and carers more proactively in the care of their loved ones. 

“I’d like to pay tribute to Phil Taylor, my predecessor as Chair. Over the last decade, he has steered Pact through a period of significant change and growth. The charity would not be where it is today without his long-standing service and dedication.” 

Andy Keen-Downs, Pact CEO, said: “We are all delighted to have Jim on board. His reputation, in particular in the world of public health, speaks for itself, and he has all the skills and experience that will help us continue to thrive and grow in the years ahead.”

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