IMB Annual Reports – Health Notes 3 Feb 2020

The only IMB report published last week was from HMP Cardiff. Here are some of the more interesting points contained within that report, pertaining to health and wellbeing:

IMB Report – HMP Cardiff

Reporting period – 01 Sep 2018 to 31 Aug 2019.

  • Self-harm remained a major concern within the establishment. In the first 6 months of the reporting year beginning 1st September 2018 there were 301 incidents of self-harm in the final 6 months ending 31st August 2019 there were 406 instances of self-harm.
  • There have been 3 deaths in custody during this reporting period. All were apparently from natural causes though the inquests are pending.
  • HMP Cardiff was successful during the reporting period in securing additional funding for Mental Health provision. In its annual report for 2017–2018 the board had serious concerns in relation to Mental Health care. In the reporting year 2018–2019 this situation had improved, the team were fully staffed; although there continued to be a high level of referrals – approx 50–60 per week.
  • The average waiting time for a primary MH assessment was 15 days, and men with urgent referrals could be seen on the day the referral is assessed. This was within the Welsh Government target of 28 days. However initial appointments to see a psychiatrist have been on average 10 weeks after referral.
  • In the last 2 months of the current reporting year the Inreach team began, on a trial basis, to attend the Induction Wing in the mornings to complete the mental health aspect of the secondary health screen. This change has meant that men who are in HMP Cardiff for a short period, but have an identified mental health need, can be sign-posted to community services.
  • The fabric of the healthcare unit had been improved, including actions taken to deal with the damp in the building. There have also been improvements to the clinic areas with waiting rooms being refurbished and a change in escorting practice so men had to spend less time in the waiting areas for appointments.
  • After many years the healthcare unit has been able to set aside 2 beds for those men who were detoxing from alcohol which has improved the safety of these men in their early days in custody.
  • In February 2019, Subutex was replaced by Espranor, and as this immediately dissolves on the tongue, it thereby reduces the time patients need to be scrutinised after taking medication.
  • Waiting times for routine appointments remains inconsistent. A snapshot of statistics relating to waiting times between April and June 2019 varied between a low of 13 days and a high of 34, although the view of the Local Health Board was that “this was within the norms of waiting times in the community”.
  • There have been staffing problems within the Healthcare Unit partially due to a lack of progression available to staff. A workforce review has been taking place for much of 2019. Despite the shortage, nursing staff have continued to provide a professional service in a difficult area of work.
  • Healthcare applications to the IMB increased to 63 from 44 when compared to the previous reporting year.

Full IMB Report – HMP Cardiff


IMB evidence comes from observations made on rota visits, scrutiny of records and data, attendance at various meetings, informal contact with staff and prisoners, prisoners’ applications and monitoring of areas of concern.


Thanks to britishlibrary for making this photo available freely on Unsplash