In a new pilot project, Pact will be working with NHS England to give the families and carers of prisoners more of a say in how prison healthcare is delivered across London.

Families and carers have a crucial role to play in the wellbeing of their loved-ones. The work, that has been commissioned by NHS England - London, will allow their voices to be heard more clearly. In turn, this will allow London prison healthcare providers to shape and deliver their services more effectively.

Prisoners are entitled to the same healthcare as they would receive in the community, but tend suffer from worse physical and mental health than the general population.

Evidence suggests that prisoners have a life expectancy 20 years younger than people in the general population - around one in three are suffering from a serious drug addiction, around half report having mental health problems and incidents of self-harm remain high.

Andy Keen-Downs, Chief Executive of Pact, said: “Prisoners’ families tell us that, too often, they find it difficult to play a role in the care of their loved-ones and that their views and concerns can be overlooked. We’re delighted to be working with NHS England to address this issue.

The important new service will offer healthcare providers critical insight that will help them to continually improve the care that they provide in London prisons. Involving families and carers will support efforts to deliver safer prisons, fewer incidents of self-harm and better value for money for the taxpayer in the long-term.

Sinéad Dervin from NHS England said:

We are pleased to be working with Pact on this exciting new initiative. Being responsible for the standard of healthcare within the London prisons we know that the role of families and carers is critical to the development and effectiveness of  services.  Without the voices of families we cannot achieve our collective aims to provide a safer prison environment, effective rehabilitation and reduce reoffending; we are delighted that Pact will be helping us on this journey.

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