The purpose of this paper is to assess the health needs of detainees in police custody in Northumbria, England, and to identify any gaps in, or possible improvements to, the current model of healthcare provision.
The current model of service provision was investigated using a combination of existing literature, and interviews with key members of staff. In addition, researchers examined the custody records of a stratified random sample of 1,917 records from 2010 and 2011. Data were collected from the risk assessments completed by Custody Sergeants, and any associated records of medical assessments by Forensic Medical Examiners (FME).
Detainees experience a wide range of health problems. Delivery of healthcare in custody could be improved through increasing the skill‐mix in this setting, computerising FME records and improving communication between agencies.
The police did not always record the reason why a forensic medical examiner was called out, thus this aspect of data collection was limited.
This health needs assessment will help to determine the way in which resources for health care in custody, currently held by the police, are reallocated once the funding transfers to the NHS in the near future.
Sirdifield, C. and Brooker, C. (2012), "Detainees in police custody: results of a health needs assessment in Northumbria, England", International Journal of Prisoner Health, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 60-67. https://doi.org/10.1108/17449201211277183Download as .RIS
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