Recent government legislation has highlighted the importance of implementation of the Care Programme Approach (CPA) within prisons, as part of the expectation that prisoners receive equivalent standards of healthcare to those provided by the National Health Service. To effectively plan the service provision at HMP Belmarsh, we retrospectively established the number of prisoners in a one-year period who would have fulfilled the criteria for enhanced CPA.
Of the 91 prisoners found to fulfil the criteria for enhanced CPA, the majority (77%) had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective or delusional disorder, and 58% required transfer to a psychiatric hospital. Of those who required hospital treatment, 75% needed conditions of high- or medium-security.
Successful implementation of the CPA for all prisoners who meet enhanced CPA criteria is likely to have significant resource implications, both for mental health teams working within prisons and local psychiatric services.
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