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Social care in prisons in England & Wales - A Thematic Report

Wednesday, October 24th 2018

This recently published thematic report has been jointly undertaken by HM Inspectorate of Prisons and the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. It monitors, inspects and regulates services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety.

In its introduction, the Report says: “Even the most psychologically robust and able-bodied man or woman finds being imprisoned to be a disturbing experience. And for those men and women who are imprisoned, but who need assistance with their social or personal care, it is especially challenging and daunting. Prisons were designed to accommodate physically fit and mentally stable individuals, with prison life being arranged to address the needs of the many. Prisoners with social care needs – unable to fully care for themselves, needing help in getting around the prison or in participating socially – are at a significant disadvantage.

The review has identified several developments that are good practice in the social care of prisoners. "However, there continue to be wide variations between social care services in prisons, so that as yet they are neither equitable nor consistent. Gaps remain in provision of services in English prisons.  Gaps also remain in the provision of support for those prisoners requiring assistance with personal care who do not meet the eligibility threshold for social care. There are clear signs that the disparity in services between prisons is disadvantaging prisoners”.

The Buddy Support Training Programme, developed by RECOOP and Devon County Council, is being delivered in a number of the prisons identified in the Report where the Inspectorate found good working practices. 

Developed for use in prisons by adapting standards from the National Care Certificate, RECOOP is currently delivering the 14-Module Programme on a full-time basis across the Devon Prison Cluster (HMPs Channings Wood, Dartmoor & Exeter) and is working towards implementation of delivery in a cluster early in 2019 which will include HMPs Hull, Humber and Leeds.  Other prisons are opting for RECOOP to deliver one- off training programmes.

For further information on the Buddy Support Training Programme please contact:  info@recoop.org.uk

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