Independent sector health and social care organisation, Care UK, has been commissioned or re-commissioned by NHS England to run health in justice services at an additional 21 establishments across the country.
In addition to 18 new partnerships in London, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, West Yorkshire and the Midlands, the procurement processes saw Care UK re-commissioned to provide healthcare services at three prisons in Buckinghamshire – bringing the total number of establishments it provides healthcare in to 30.
The new contracts, which started 1 April and run for five years, complement Care UK’s existing Health in Justice services and enhance its reputation as a trusted provider of primary, secondary and urgent care to NHS patients. Care UK will draw upon its considerable expertise to offer high quality and responsive care to more than 22,000 individuals at the 30 establishments – including approximately a quarter of the total prison population.
Ross Dowsett, deputy managing director for primary care and health in justice service director at Care UK, said: “We have a proven track record in providing healthcare within the justice system and we are delighted to extend our partnerships into these new establishments. Our priority is to deliver the highest standards of patient care and we’ll be working closely with our commissioners and partners to develop positive health and wellbeing for the people who we’re responsible for providing healthcare to.”
NHS England, as the responsible commissioner for prison healthcare services, led competitive procurement processes for the new contracts, with Care UK chosen as the lead primary healthcare provider at the prisons, young offender institutions and an immigration removal centre (IRC).
By working collaboratively with commissioners, prison and IRC teams, healthcare professionals and its other partners, Care UK aims to improve outcomes, reduce waiting times, enable those in custody or detention to improve their health and wellbeing, and empower patients to self-manage long-term conditions.
Its teams at the new establishments comprise of doctors, nurses, primary mental healthcare professionals, managers and administrators. Care UK is also working with a range of specialist providers to ensure integrated and high quality secondary mental healthcare, audiology, podiatry, physiotherapy, dentistry, optometry and pharmacy services.
Expertise from South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (SSSFT), Inclusion (part of SSSFT), Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust, Time for Teeth, Pen Optical Trust, Premier, Cotswolds Medicare, Spark Inside, Airedale NHS Foundation, Sigma Care and the Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust will assist Care UK in the delivery of its Wellbeing Approach, which is tailored to patients’ individual needs.
Ross added: “We fully understand the intricacies of the justice system and have developed a healthcare model that encourages prisoners and detainees to take an active role in their own recovery. Through our Wellbeing Approach, we’re able to support prison and IRC teams with delivering highly-tailored and effective person centred healthcare, which educates patients to manage long-term conditions, helps with their overall rehabilitation, and contributes to reducing the risk of repeat offending.
“Over the past few months we’ve worked closely with NHS England and our partners to ensure a seamless transition from the incumbent providers. Healthcare teams have transferred to us and our partners under the TUPE process on their existing terms and conditions and it’s business as usual for our teams and the patients who our Health in Justice services provide care to.”
Care UK also runs three Solace Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC) where victims of rape or sexual assault are supported after an attack.