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Prison Healthcare Continues to Fail Despite Emergency Measures, Warns BMA

ctor in London and a member of the BMAs Civil and Public Services Committee said:

The early release programme is supposed to give the penal system a short respite after months of unrelenting pressure. However, prison healthcare continues to be strained to breaking point in many areas. The BMAs dossier, 'Crisis in the Cells', provides a small snapshot of the nationwide and daily serious issues afflicting every stage of prison healthcare.

Crucial rehabilitation services dealing with mental health and drug dependency conditions are beset with problems from a number of different angles. There are long delays in initial assessment, chronic shortages in manpower and resources that impede treatment and confusion as to what happens after release

Added together, this catalogue of failings is preventing rehabilitation and making it more likely that prisoners will re-offend after their release

Dr Clare Jenkins, chairman of the BMAs Civil and Public Services Committee said:

The Government must provide a set of concrete and long term proposals that address the specific problems facing prison healthcare. Temporary fixes will not address the current crisis.

The BMA advises all prison doctors to write formally to their respective prison governors and prison health care providers (Primary Care Organisations or Private Sector Company) in order to highlight any factors in their prison that are leading to increased and serious risk to their patients health. The BMA will continue to push for extra measures to address the current crisis.


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