This paper aims to describe the strategies being put in place to develop blood borne virus (BBV) services across prisons in Wales, UK, in response to the recommendations for prisons within the Welsh Government's Blood Borne Viral Hepatitis Action Plan for Wales.
A task and finish group was established to ensure multidisciplinary engagement between healthcare and custody staff. A service improvement package was developed focusing on awareness raising and/or development of clinical services for prisoners, prison officers and prison healthcare staff.
Prison healthcare staff have undergone training in BBVs and are being supported to deliver clinical services to prisoners. Training has been delivered in pre/post test discussion and dried blood spot testing; care pathways have been established between prison and community specialists for treatment referrals. An e‐learning module is being rolled out to raise awareness amongst custody staff and encourage occupational hepatitis B vaccination. Literature on “liver health” has been produced to be given to every prisoner across Wales.
It is envisaged that BBV services will become a routine part of prison care in Wales. Data on activity are being collected for evaluation and it is hoped that tackling BBVs in prisons will help reduce rates of infection both within prisons and in the wider community.
This paper describes new initiatives that have been established to tackle BBVs across Welsh prisons and will be relevant to any prison healthcare staff looking to develop similar services.
Perrett, S.E., Craine, N. and Lyons, M. (2013), "Developing blood borne virus services across prisons in Wales, UK", International Journal of Prisoner Health, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 31-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/17449201311310788
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