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Prisoners – current and former

Population Outcome: People who are in prison or recently released in Suffolk and North East Essex have Health Equality

Convicted prisoners and those on remand may not have access to their usual medication or be able to comply with usual pattern of administration. Those on waiting lists for care may be transferred, when they will move to the bottom of the new waiting list. Prisoners and their families need support to maintain their relationships. The prison population is ageing and more people may develop long term conditions, dementia or frailty, needing access to appropriate care and support. On release, low income or reliance on welfare benefits may lead to difficulties accessing healthcare (see deprivation section).



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The Story Behind the Outcome

Lived Experience


UCL's Collaborative Centre for Inclusion Health experiences of prisoners’ healthcare


Hidden Homeless report

Healthwatch Essex - report exploring the health, care and wellbeing needs of prisoners, prison leavers and ex-offenders in Essex

Click here


Coming Soon...

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Published Evidence

Life expectancy

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Access to healthcare

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Social care in prisons

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Older prisoners

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Following Release – impact from wider determinants of health

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Further Reading

Further Information

Useful Organisations

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Our Ambition

What we know matters to people and why

What matters?Why?
I am able to obtain the information I need to stay wellUsing a range of communication methods, including non-digital and easy read formats, helps people released from prison, to stay well and know how to access help when they need it.
I have equity of access to health and care servicesSharing of health and care records between prisons and primary and secondary care helps to prevent prisoners waiting for healthcare being disadvantaged when they move between prisons. Continuity of care between prison and community enables ex-prisoners with health and care needs to stay well. Prompt access to community-based health and care services, particularly in substance misuse and mental health, and employment and welfare support, gives former prisoners the opportunity to rehabilitate and avoid reoffending.
I have high quality careSharing of health and care records between prisons and community services means prisoners do not have to repeat their story and their needs can be met more effectively. Person-centred trauma-informed care that is flexible to the needs and challenges of being a former prisoner, and enables people to stay well and to recover from physical and mental ill-health and reduce the risk of self-harm and substance misuse. High quality care recognises the stigma that ex-prisoners people face, and is provided in a non-judgemental and compassionate way. Educating the prison workforce in the health needs of older and frail prisoners helps enable their needs to be identified promptly.
I am seen and heardCo-producing services with people and families who have experienced prison, ensures services can be tailored to their needs.

How will things be different in Suffolk and North East Essex

We will work together to identify people who are homeless or in insecure accommodation, record their status and provide accessible advice on support to prevent and end homelessness.We will ensure people who are homeless know how to register with a GP and obtain access to community-based physical and mental health services, and health promotion support to prevent ill health.
We will provide trauma-informed personalised care that is sensitive to the needs of people who are homeless and the stigma they face.We will co-design services and co-produce improvements to existing services to improve the quality of health and care for people and families who are homeless.
We will seek support to end homelessness while an inpatient to enable safe discharge from hospital and a better chance of good recovery.

Case Studies – how we are making progress across Suffolk & North East Essex

Publish your case study here 

Publish your case study here 

Publish your case study here 

Publish your case study here 

Publish your case study here 

Publish your case study here 

Relevant plans and strategies


NHS Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board
Joint Forward Plan


Ipswich and East Suffolk
Alliance Delivery Plan

North East Essex 
Alliance Delivery Plan

West  Suffolk
Alliance Delivery Plan

Page last updated: January 2024

Last Updated on 11 June 2024

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