The quality and relevance of what happens in prisons are measurably improved once prisons are seen, and have to act, as an integral part of society and the community. The provision of health care has benefited a great deal from the involvement of national and local agencies whose professional expertise is in health and education. HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) has developed the World Health Organisation's concept of a ‘healthy prison’ (WHO, 1998) to judge the treatment of prisoners and the conditions in which they are held against four core criteria. Partnership working between the Prison Service and NHS was formalised in April 2000, and the majority of prisons have transferred the commissioning of health care to the NHS. This paper considers the challenges and developments of partnership working in improving health outcomes for prisoners, and identifies future improvements.
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