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Healthcare services provided by ²gether NHS Foundation Trust in Gloucester Prison are meeting all essential quality and safety standards, an inspection has found.

Following a two-day visit the Care Quality Commission (CQC) gave the services a glowing report – something which has been welcomed by those involved in the important work being carried out.

Marieanne Bubb-McGhee, Clinical Service Manager for Offender Health, County Wide Services, said: “I am very proud of all of the staff who were involved in the inspection, including the GPs and dental staff, who have worked to make the team what it is and who deliver high quality, equitable care to all the men at HMP Gloucester.

“The report gives us great satisfaction, but more importantly gives welcome and independent reassurance that the services we provide in the prison are of a very high standard.”

²gether NHS Foundation Trust provides general and mental health nursing within the prison. It also provides the integrated drugs treatment service.

During their visit, the inspectors observed how people were being cared for, talked to staff and talked to people who use services. They also used the results of questionnaires compiled by HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP), who also conducted an inspection at the same time.

The majority of people spoken to said they were very satisfied with the services provided at the prison.

The standards inspected by the CQC and their main findings were as follows:

• People should be treated with respect, involved in discussions about their care and treatment and able to influence how the service is run

The inspectors found staff spoke to people using the services in a friendly, respectful and polite manner. People were involved in their care and treatment, and had their views sought. Information about services and health conditions were readily available and an interpreter was available to assist with people whose first language was not English.

• People should get safe and appropriate care that meets their needs and supports their rights

The inspectors found there was a high level of satisfaction with health services. Nursing staff were available 24 hours a day, and there was good access to nurses with appointments promptly arranged. The four-bed health care centre was found to be well run. In addition, upon arrival at the prison a qualified nurse conducts an immediate health screen, which is followed by a second screen within 48 hours. Where health concerns are highlighted, referrals are made to the clinic or GP. People deemed ‘at risk’ by the mental health team receive additional support. There is also the option for self referral to the nurse-led clinic, and regular clinic sessions held for conditions such as diabetes, respiratory diseases, epilepsy and sexual health. Services provided also include health promotion for issues such as smoking and exercise.

• People should get safe and coordinated care when they move between different services

Other medical services within the prison such as dentistry, optical treatment and GPs are provided by other organisations. However, they are co-located with the services provided by ²gether and inspectors found the transition between services was ‘seamless’. There are also very good links with community services, with pre-release clinics held to ensure individuals are supported once they leave the prison.

• Staff should be properly trained and supervised, and have the chance to develop and improve their skills

The survey by HMIP found that 58 per cent of people felt the quality of health service by nurses was good or very good. There were clear lines of accountability, responsibility and supervision of staff. Training provided to staff was generally found to be good, ensuring that practices are safe and in line with good practice.

• The service should have quality checking systems to manage risks and assure the health, welfare and safety of people who receive care

The inspectors found systems in place to monitor the quality of service provided and improve services where necessary. Complaints are fully recorded and investigated, and management monitor on a daily basis what is taking place within the centre.

In each case the Trust was found to be meeting the standard. To read the report in full visit: http://bit.ly/RAEXhh