The responsibility for healthcare transferred from the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) to the NHS in November 2011. There is now a requirement for prisoners to have access to the same quality and appropriate range of healthcare services as those members of the public with similar needs.
Across Forth Valley there are 3 National Prisons:
- HMP YOI Cornton Vale – Stirling (Scotland’s only all female prison for women from 16 years +)
- HMP Glenochil – Menstrie (for convicted male prisoners)
- HMP YOI Polmont – Polmont (for young offenders aged 16-21 years)
Each prison establishment houses its own Health Centre which is staffed by Primary Care Nurses, Mental health Nurses and Substance Misuse Staff. These staff provide treatment and advice around a wide range of general healthcare and specialist services.
The health centres are supported on a daily basis by GP Clinics. Among the services provided are:
- Consultant psychiatry sessions
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
Overview of the Scottish Prisoner Population
Since the late 1990s the demography of Scotland’s prison population has been changing, showing interim highs and lows over the last 20 years, with the long term projections indicating an upward trend. Following a marginal reduction in the prison population in 2010-11, it has since increased by 4% to an annual average of 8,178 for 2011-12 , with the total population of prisoners in Scotland standing at 8,424 on the 15th June 2012. The official capacity for all Scottish prisons stands at 7,844 which placed the occupancy levels at 105% in 2011. The imprisonment rate for Scotland stands at 157 per 100,000, making it one of the highest countries for incarceration in Western Europe .
Detailed information on the demographics of the Scottish prisoner population is available by age, gender, ethnicity, religion and deprivation:
- Prison Demographic – Age
- Prison Demographic – Gender
- Prison Demographic – Ethnicity
- Prison Demographic – Religion
- Prison Demographic – Deprivation
Overview of the Forth Valley Prisoner Population
There are three prison establishments within the NHS Forth Valley area. These are HMP Cornton Vale, HMP Polmont Young Offenders Institute (PYOI) and HMP Glenochil. The overall capacity and diversity of these three prisons equates to a complex mix of prisoners and accounts for 23% of the total Scottish prison population. Differences in the prison design, capacity, function, facility, culture and location means that each prion is unique. The diversity of the offender population within each establishment presents a series of complex health issues which are now the responsibility of the NHS Board where the prisoners are held.
Detailed information on the demographics of the Forth Valley population is available by design capacity, average daily population and sentencing trends:
Under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 anyone with a diagnosed ‘mental health disorder’ is entitled to the provision of Independent Advocacy. There is currently no provision of Independent Advocacy within the Scottish Prison Service.
NHS Forth Valley Department of Public Health undertook a review of the need for Independent Advocacy within the Scottish Prison Service. The review explored the possible options for providing Independent Advocacy services for prisoners within the three prison establishments in Forth Valley.