This guideline covers assessing, diagnosing and managing physical health problems of people in prison. It aims to improve health and wellbeing in the prison population by promoting more coordinated care and more effective approaches to prescribing, dispensing and supervising medicines.
Recommendations on ongoing mental health care are included in NICE’s guideline on mental health of adults in contact with the criminal justice system, which published in February 2017.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- assessing a person’s health when they come into prison
- managing and supervising medicines
- promoting health and wellbeing in prison
- how to manage health emergencies and support people with rapidly deteriorating health
Who is it for?
- Practitioners and managers working in prisons or young offender institutions
- Providers of care and support to people in prisons or young offender institutions
- People in prisons or young offender institutions, and their families and carers.
Guideline development process
Next review: November 2018
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.
Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.