NHS bosses slammed over medical facilities at Wigan prison

Hindley Prison
Hindley Prison
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An improvement order has been issued by a watchdog to a Wigan-based health trust over medical facilities at Hindley Prison.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors were unhappy with the cleanliness of the unit at the jail during a December visit.

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And while the cleaning regime was the responsibility of a prison contractor, CQC officials criticised operator Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust for not flagging up problems with governors.

Under a requirement notice, issued by the commission as part of the Health and Social Care Act, the inspectors also found the local lead for infection prevention and control had not been given the required training to carry out the role.

In a report to Bridgewater’s performance committee, it also emerged complaints by inmates were routinely added to electronic patient records, which could be seen by widely by Hindley staff.

The CQC said: “These were accessible to all staff using the patient record system, and did not support patients’ confidentiality. This practice also posed a risk that patients would experience discrimination due to their complaint.”

Inspectors also discovered serious incidents within the health facility were not being appropriately logged or investigated.

“There was limited evidence to demonstrate that incidents were used to improve the service and learning was shared with all staff,” noted inspectors.

Inmates had also not been regularly questioned about their views on health services at Hindley.

A Bridgewater spokesman said: “Operating within a prison is an extremely challenging environment in which to provide high quality healthcare and we welcome the CQC inspecting what and how we do things. That helps us to learn and understand areas in which we could improve which is exactly what we are doing.

“The inspection took place in December 2017, however, we have already made some key changes to our systems and processes to ensure we provide high quality, safe and effective care to all our patients. We understand that the formal report will be published shortly and we are committed to continuing to improve our services.”

Earlier this week the Wigan Post revealed the trust had approached NHS England, requesting an additional £2.4m to deliver healthcare services at Garth and Wymott prisons in Lancashire, amid recruitment problems and safety concerns.