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News

Buddy Support Scheme

Friday, September 1st 2017

Primary Care is under increased pressure due to the number of prisoners coming into prison with health and social care needs. Remand prisons, in particular, suffer as the volumes of people passing through can be over 200 a month.  With restricted staffing levels in many prisons, this can be exacerbated when prison officers are required to escort prisoners out to hospital appointments.

Working alongside Devon County Council and three prisons in Devon, RECOOP has been delivering The Buddy Support Scheme in HMPs Channings Wood, Dartmoor and Exeter for over three years.   The Programme is designed to equip prisoners to support other prisoners with health and social care needs and the day-to-day challenges they face within an often very difficult environment.  Selected prisoners are trained in 14 modules, based on the National Care Standards, to support their fellow inmates with the intention that through support, there can be an element of prevention (wherever possible) in any further decline in the individual’s ability or health and social care needs.

As one Prison Officer on a Social Care Wing commented:

“RECOOP is well placed to offer this support owing to their expert knowledge of working with older prisoners and national influence.  Buddy Training should be widely publicised to encourage other prisons to take up this good practice.”

For further information please contact:  info@recoop.org.uk

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