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Providing Health Care Needs For Prisoners At Christmas

 CNWL is ramping up the support it provides to prisoners this Christmas.

It is organising Winter Health and Wellbeing Events across several of the prisons it provides healthcare services to, complete with Christmas trees and hampers.

These include:-

·                     HMP Downview

·                     HMP Send

·                     HMP Coldingley

·                     HMP Bronzefield

·                     Medway Secure Training Centre

·                     YOI Cookham Wood

The overall aim is to develop ways of engaging with a difficult client group to allow Trust staff to test for Blood-Borne Viruses (BBV) such as Hepatitis B and C and to finish off Flu jabs while also promoting services to inmates.

At a time when the numbers of suicides in prisons is the highest it's ever been since recording practices began in 1978, they will also provide psychology sessions such as "First time inside at Xmas" and "Coping on being inside at this time of year".

Service director Sue Clements said: "This is not about pampering prisoners this Christmas. This is helping to treat the healthcare needs of people wherever or whoever they may be, without judging them.

"Many might be suffering psychological distress at spending their Christmas behind bars and we want to provide the help and support they might need to guard against the high suicide rate our prisons are experiencing currently.

"We know that being inside at Christmas can be difficult so we want to provide inmates with coping strategies.

"Most offenders have also lived very disordered lives and often have poor health and may have had a history of substance abuse so we want to get to know them better as well as well as to help improve their mental and physical health."

Events include:-

·                     A raffle with prizes

·                     Flu Jab Clinic

·                     BBV Testing with a Secret Santa gift for each prisoner tested

·                     Psychology Stall

·                     Some simple snacks

·                     "Write a Xmas Card to a loved one"

·                     Diaries given to plan and keep track of appointments for the following year

·                     "Plan a goal to achieve in early 2017", which will include a three-month follow-up to see how the prisoner is faring with the plan.

·                     Vit D advice and support

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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