PRISONERS in Worcestershire have been benefitting from a technological health innovation that gives them access to great health support without leaving the prison.

Care UK’s Health in Justice teams have been working with ten prisons, including Long Lartin, near Evesham, and Hewell, near Redditch, on a six-month pilot for a secure telephone-based medical service.

The scheme, called Prison Assist, allows GPs to talk to patients in prison via a secure hub or via secure home working links.

Dr Sarah Bromley, medical director, said: “The pilot has been a resounding success, with both patients and clinicians delighted with the level of access and care that has been achieved. It enables the GP to access prisoners’ full records, including those in prison and from their family GP.

“It has also been an excellent example of what can be achieved by working smarter. We are now looking at ways we can roll it out to benefit prisoners across the country, along with a quality improvement programme looking at the effective use of GP time.

“With the ever-increasing demand for services, the complexity of prisoners’ health issues and the country-wide challenges of recruiting GPs, especially in the fast-moving prison environment, Prison Assist enables us to offer additional care without having to bring extra GPs within the prison walls.”