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Bronzefield Goes For Gold!

 The aim is to help all within the prison environment gain a better understanding of the likely reactions of traumatised women - as many are within a prison environment - to confinement and authority and to become more "resident-friendly" through different approaches to environment and rule enforcement.

The launch at the prison included prisoners - called residents at Bronzefield - , staff, representatives from healthcare provider CNWL, third sector groups and the Mayor of Spelthorne.

Dr Shamir Patel, Clinical Director for CNWL's Offender Care Division, said: "What we know is that women in prison have often been victims of much more serious offences than the ones they are accused of committing. This is a new way of looking at reducing re-offending and increasing the health outcomes of this group."

CNWL runs therapy groups on Psychosis, Personality Disorders, trauma, managing emotions, depression and anxiety - some are one off workshops and others run over several weeks.

About 90% of participants have experienced trauma; the groups teach stabilisation skills, grounding, understanding the brain and reactions.

CNWL, in partnership with HMP & YOI Bronzefield, has also piloted a successful programme called EOS aimed at the five women in the prison at the highest risk of harm and of reoffending.

The programme helps women get to know, understand and deal with their trauma, with incidents investigated more thoughtfully.



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One former resident who spoke at the event said severe domestic violence had been part of her life, but following engagement with the therapy programmes she had been able to work through her problems.

The One Small Thing charity has helped to embed trauma-informed practice in women's prison healthcare.

Founder Lady Edwina Grosvenor, who spoke at the event, said: "The traumatic pasts of criminalised women affect their present. One Small Thing works with staff in women's prisons and in the community, developing approaches grounded in understanding, fostering positive outcomes for all. We call this trauma-informed practice."

The prison is run by Sodexo Justice Services. Director Ian Whiteside said: "The word ‘prison' can strike fear and concern into many people, particularly for those women who find themselves here after days in a police cell or at court. However we strongly believe that prison can, and should be a vehicle for positive change, where women can work on their rehabilitation and progression supported by my staff; who champion their success, encouraging and enabling them to plan for the future. We believe that if you look beyond a person's behaviour and work collaboratively with them to identify the root-cause we can take a more holistic and gender -informed approach to supporting and rehabilitating the women in our care."

At HMP & YOI Bronzefield up to 200 women are on remand and about 160 there for crimes of violence and about 130 more for theft and handling.

Among national statistics about women in prison: 57% experience domestic violence, 53% abused, 33% were in care with its knock-on consequences; 65% experience depression, 46% have attempted suicide, 49% have drug problems, 52% say their drinking is out of control and 30% have had a psychiatric admission. For more details:

Contact Senior Communications Officer Jeremy Dunning on 0203 214 5756 or email jeremy.dunning@nhs.net


Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Stephenson House, 75 Hampstead Road, London NW1 2PL
Tel: 020 3214 5756 e-mail:

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