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GPs to get health info link to prisons from July



NHS England moves closer to deal with The Phoenix Partnership for Health and Justice Information system

NHS England has chosen a preferred supplier of the Health and Justice Information system that will enable GPs to exchange medical records with prisons, immigration removal centres, youth institutes and secure children's homes.

It has conditionally awarded the contract for the system to healthcare software specialist The Phoenix Partnership, with a plan to launch the new system in July.

It will give healthcare providers in the institutions access to patients' records, and hopefully help to provide care that is better aligned with that they had received on the outside. It will also be possible to transfer the records back to a GP when the patient is released.

The system is being developed as the Health and Justice Information Services Programme, which has been led over the past three years by NHS England and the Health and Social Care Information Centre. They have worked with Public Health England, the Youth Justice Board, the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office along with independent charities.

Continuity of care

Dr Jake Hard, clinical lead for the project, prison GP and chair of the Royal College of GPs Secure Environments Group, said: “This represents a significant step forward in supporting and promoting the continuity of care for those people who come into contact with the criminal justice system. The new developments will for the first time contribute to a more inclusive approach to providing health care in these settings and further support the clinicians providing care to their patients.”

The Phoenix Partnership has previously provided the SystmOne health information system, developed by CSC, to all of England's prisons in a roll out that ran from 2009-11.

It said that more information about the new system will be made available when the contract negotiations are complete.

Picture by Julian Berry from Mid Sussex, UK (Fremantle: Prison Block), CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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