to the Mental Health Primary Care in Prison website;
a guide to mental ill health in adults and adolescents
in prison and young offender institutions.
Prison Service in the UK has under its care one of the
most vulnerable and mentally unhealthy populations anywhere.
Epidemiological studies agree that the prevalence of
serious personality disorders, drug and alcohol dependence,
suicidal and self-harming behaviour, and all forms of
mental illness (both psychotic and neurotic) is alarmingly
high - much higher than in the general population. The
most seriously ill prisoners need in-patient hospital
treatment and should be moved to a more appropriate
setting at the earliest opportunity. But for most, the
aim is for care equivalent to that available in the
community to be provided within the prison setting.
require mental-health services that are abundant and
of high quality. The partnership between the Prison
Service and the National Health Service (NHS) aims to
introduce these and, over time, to achieve an equivalence
of care. Even should this aim become a reality, however,
prison healthcare staff (doctors, nurses, healthcare
officers) will still need good mental-health skills
and knowledge to carry out their primary-care role.
This Guide is designed to support them in doing that
in collaboration with others - which, in the prison
context, may include chaplains, probation officers,
psychologists and prison officers, as well as mental-health
specialists. The Guide is an adaptation of a guide for
primary-care professionals working in the community.
As such, it provides a directly equivalent resource
and supports the process of achieving equivalence. Although
it is not intended to be viewed as Prison Service policy,
it has been developed with the active participation
of many people - especially prison healthcare staff
and NHS mental-health workers. Thus, it is an example
of partnership between the Prison Service and the NHS.
If this is your first visit you may
find it useful to read the foreword,
foreword, about this
site and acknowledgements
Further copies of this book can
be obtained by telephone from:
Prison Health Task Force (for prison staff only)
Tel: 01788 834215
Society of Medicine Press Tel: 020 7290 2900