HMIP Report Health Summary – HMP Garth – Jan 2019

Date of publication 09 May 2019
Report type Prison and YOI inspections
Location HMP Garth

Report on an announced inspection of HMP Garth (17 December 2018 – 18 January 2019)

Main Points: Health, well-being and social care.

Several aspects of health care had improved since the previous inspection, but patients still waited too long for hospital appointments. Governance structures and partnership working were reasonable. Staffing levels had improved, but there were still vacancies. However, in some areas they were offset by regular agency staff and an active recruitment programme. Supervision in the health care waiting room was poor, leaving some prisoners at risk from others. The management of long-term conditions had improved and patients now received regular reviews and a good level of care. Waiting times for some primary care services, including dentistry, were still too long, exacerbated by high non-attendance rates. The integrated mental health team mostly delivered an appropriate range of services. Substance misuse services were reasonably good, prescribing was safe and reviews took place regularly. A good range of psychosocial support was also available. The ethos of the substance misuse therapeutic community was undermined by a lack of dedicated prison officers and some prisoners’ use of illicit drugs. Medicines were managed reasonably well and medicines administration had improved since our previous inspection, but governance and oversight needed to be enhanced.

Recommendations: Health, well-being and social care.

  • 5.2 The availability of illicit drugs and associated debt, violence and victimisation should be reduced significantly. (S44)
  • 5.3 Prisoners should be able to access all hospital and primary care services within community- equivalent waiting times. (S45)
  • 5.17 All health and substance use service providers should contribute to a single patient record to ensure relevant information is shared effectively. (2.56)
  • 5.18 All prisoners should be able to wait in a suitable waiting room that provides a respectful and safe environment. (2.57)
  • 5.19 Discipline staff should provide the health care department with adequate support so that a safe environment is maintained. (2.58)
  • 5.20 There should be a ‘whole-prison’ strategy to promoting health and well-being. (2.61)
  • 5.21 An updated memorandum of understanding between all key stakeholders and regular meetings to monitor the provision should be in place to ensure that prisoners receive a good level of social care. (2.71)
  • 5.22 All discipline officers should receive mental health awareness training, to enable them to recognise and support prisoners with mental health problems. (2.79, repeated recommendation 2.81)
  • 5.23 Transfers to hospital under the Mental Health Act should take place within the Department of Health’s established guidelines. (2.80)
  • 5.24 Appropriate options for clinical treatment should be available in line with national clinical guidance. (2.88)
  • 5.25 The TC should have an operating policy and appropriately trained dedicated officers should support the ethos of the unit. (2.89)
  • 5.26 Medicine administration rounds should be supported in all areas by adequate officer supervision. (2.94)
  • 5.27 Robust governance arrangements should be embedded and involve key stakeholders to ensure oversight of medicine management and prescribing practice is effective. (2.95)

Good Practice: Health, well-being and social care.


Full Report Here

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