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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2020

Coral Sirdifield, Rebecca Marples, David Denney and Charlie Brooker

This study aims to investigate the views of commissioners, providers and criminal justice staff on how effective current health-care provision is at meeting the health needs of…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the views of commissioners, providers and criminal justice staff on how effective current health-care provision is at meeting the health needs of people on probation. Understanding perceptions of what constitutes effective provision, where barriers are encountered and where improvements could be made is an important step towards improving access to care for this hard-to-reach group.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was part of a wider study. This paper focusses on findings from case studies conducted via semi-structured telephone interviews with 24 stakeholders in a purposive sample from six geographical areas of England. Interviews were conducted by researchers from a variety of backgrounds and an individual with lived experience of the criminal justice system. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings

Participants provided examples of effective health-care provision, which largely involved multi-agency partnership working. It was apparent that there are many barriers to providing appropriate health-care provision to people on probation, which are underpinned by the complexity of this population’s health-care needs, the complexity of the health-care landscape and problematic commissioning processes.

Practical implications

Improvements are needed to provide appropriate and accessible health care that meets the needs of people on probation, thereby reducing health inequalities. These include shared targets, improved funding, clearer pathways into care and giving probation a voice in commissioning.

Originality/value

To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is the first study of commissioner, provider and criminal justice staffs’ views on the effectiveness of current health-care provision at meeting the health needs of people on probation.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Coral Sirdifield and Sara Owen

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the role in offender mental health for the probation service described in policy translates into practice through exploring staff and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the role in offender mental health for the probation service described in policy translates into practice through exploring staff and offenders’ perceptions of this role in one probation trust. In particular, to examine barriers to staff performing their role and ways of overcoming them.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative secondary analysis of data from semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of 11 probation staff and nine offenders using the constant comparative method.

Findings

Both staff and offenders defined probation’s role as identifying and monitoring mental illness amongst offenders, facilitating access to and monitoring offenders’ engagement with health services, and managing risk. Barriers to fulfilling this role included limited training, a lack of formal referral procedures/pathways between probation and health agencies, difficulties in obtaining and administering mental health treatment requirements, problems with inter-agency communication, and gaps in service provision for those with dual diagnosis and personality disorder. Strategies for improvement include improved training, developing a specialist role in probation and formalising partnership arrangements.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is required to explore the transferability of these findings, particularly in the light of the recent probation reforms.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to explore how staff and offenders perceive probation’s role in offender mental health in comparison with the role set out in policy.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 December 2006

Coral Sirdifield

Prisoners in the UK are in a poor state of health compared to the wider population, often experiencing numerous physical and/or mental health problems. Many prisoners have had…

103

Abstract

Prisoners in the UK are in a poor state of health compared to the wider population, often experiencing numerous physical and/or mental health problems. Many prisoners have had little contact with health services, and research suggests that the standard of health care provided in prisons is not equivalent to that provided in the community. This article introduces Care Services Improvement Partnership Health Trainers ‐ an initiative aiming to provide prisoners themselves with the skills to address health inequalities among their peers. Initially, it discusses the origins of these Health Trainers. It then examines prisoners' views on how training as a Health Trainer has influenced their attitudes and behaviour, and outlines possible implications of providing this kind of training to prisoners in terms of them using their knowledge to influence other prisoners' mental health.

Details

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-6228

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 December 2006

Charlie Brooker and Coral Sirdifield

Approximately 90% of prisoners experience mental health problems, substance misuse problems or both. However, prison reception screening tools are not always effective in enabling…

Abstract

Approximately 90% of prisoners experience mental health problems, substance misuse problems or both. However, prison reception screening tools are not always effective in enabling staff to identify mentally disordered prisoners. Therefore, to ensure that these individuals get access to appropriate care, custodial staff should be trained in recognising the signs and symptoms of mental health disorders, and in effectively working with these individuals. This paper charts the pilot implementation of a mental health awareness workbook designed for use in custodial settings across England. It examines the variety of approaches adopted to implement the workbook, staff views on the usefulness of the workbook, and barriers to implementation encountered in each area. Recommendations made for best practice in delivering the workbook in other areas suggest a need for changes to its format, but also that time should be ring‐fenced for staff to participate in this training, in groups led by experts such as in‐reach team members.

Details

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-6228

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 January 2012

Coral Sirdifield and Charlie Brooker

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…

271

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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).

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

The police did not always record the reason why a forensic medical examiner was called out, thus this aspect of data collection was limited.

Originality/value

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.

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 January 2012

Morag MacDonald, Robert Greifinger and David Kane

69

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Prisoner Health, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1744-9200

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