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Prisoners could get digital healthcare tool


Mark Say Managing Editor

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NHS England is making plans to provide a digital healthcare tool to inmates of prisons.

Its prison healthcare commissioning unit has begun to sound out potential suppliers of a tool that could be used by trained prisoners, rather than practitioners, to manage their recovery from health and addiction problems.

It has published a prior information notice that says the tool is intended to support prisoners in a range of clinically improved interventions to help them over drug addictions and psychosocial problems.

The solution has to be available through desktop and mobile devices and compatible with prison IT systems, and provide advice and ongoing support for the users. It would also provide a channel for support from clinical intervention experts.

Other requirements are that it should provide a complementary groupwork package, be available in a range of languages, and provide the facility for prisoners to gain a recognised qualification to successfully complete the programme.

Continuous care

The notice also specifies the need for a community based platform to help provide continuous care once they leave prison.

In October of last year, The Observer reported that a leaked briefing by the Care Quality Commission described medical care as inadequate in almost half of England’s prisons. Much of this was attributed to shortages of properly trained staff.

A digital tool to support self-management of treatment and recovery from an addiction could ease the burden on prison medical practitioners.

Picture by Julian Berry, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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