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Prisoner Health: Access to Healthcare

By: Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Project Description

Background: Prisoners constitute a population with unique health needs as they rely solely on the prisons to provide access to hospital care by arranging hospital attendance. The impact of this type of regulation on prisoner health has not been reported.

Approach: The team assessed the attendance of prisoners to hospital appointments and the impact on health. Based on 1104 appointments offered to 161 patients, the team found the failure to attend rate was 41.9%. Of patients intended to attend appointments for interventions, 12.7% failed to attend. For first post-operative appointments, 37.1% of patients failed to attend. Of prisoners who failed to attend an appointment, 9.7% were at risk of harm.

Intended Benefits

Patient outcomes: By understanding the health status and access to care of prisoners, staff are able to provide better care and improve patient outcomes. Most noteworthy is the subgroup of prisoners who are placed at risk of harm directly as a result of delayed appointments.

Environmental, Financial, Social: By resolving the delay in appointments for patients, it is assumed that the wasted time on delayed and missed appointments could be saved. There could be additional impacts such as transportation costs and relationship dynamics between prison administrators and prisoners if more information were known.

Key Aspects of the Project

This project specifically focused on a marginalised population in the healthcare system to assess their access to care and health needs.

Queens Medical Centre

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