Offenders have very high levels of mental health, drug and alcohol problems. As a result of the NHS health reforms, local GP Clinical Commissioning Groups are expected to commission many of the health pathways and services that offenders use in the community and may be responsible for co-operating with Probation Trusts to reduce re-offending. The NHS National Commissioning Board (NCB) is also expected to have an oversight role with respect to all offender health and is expected to commission prison health services (excluding psycho-social substance misuse services which will be locally commissioned). The NCB will commission secure mental health (forensic) services and is expected to pick up the commissioning of Police Healthcare in due course.
Probation Trusts will need to ensure that the health and social care needs of offenders in the community and those in prison are factored into the strategic commissioning of the new NHS and local government structures. This will need to be done on the local level primarily through informing and influencing the activities of local Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWB), their Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNA) and the resulting HWB Strategy (HWBS).
On the 18th October 2012 the PCA held a roundtable seminar on Health & Wellbeing Boards and offender health needs. Read the summary report here:
Report on PCA seminar on HWBBs.
Read a PCA briefing on the NHS Health Reforms
Read the PCA’s position statement on Health and Wellbeing Boards
Read the a University of Lincoln report on the prevalence of mental health problems in a probation poulation The executive summary is here. The full report here.
The following docs are likely to be helpful links for Trusts.