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RCN Scotland
Prison Fence

Health care in Scottish prisons

Five years on from the transfer of the nurse-led prison healthcare service from the Scottish Prison Service to NHS Scotland this RCN Scotland publication evaluates how far the aspirations behind the move are being evidenced in practice. Our research has highlighted some important areas of improvement and innovation in health care for the prison population and shows the commitment of nursing staff working with people in prison. However, overall there is too little evidence that the transfer has put health care in prison, definitively, on the right path to delivering better outcomes for people in prison across Scotland.

RCN Scotland wants to see the health, and the health care, of people in prison at the forefront of open political debate. We will do what it can to raise our concerns with those in a position of influence over the coming months, but we call on anyone who reads this report and has a response to its findings to share it at #prisonnhs5yo. 

We also invite any organisation which is working with staff or people in prison, which is commissioning or delivering services or which has a hand in setting the direction of health and justice in Scotland to contact Theresa Fyffe, Director of RCN Scotland - theresa.fyffe@rcn.org.uk,  to discuss. 

RCN Scotland thanks the people in prison, staff and partners who spoke to us so openly and supported our work in writing this report.

Five Years On

Five years on  

Royal College of Nursing Scotland review of the transfer of prison health care from the Scottish Prison Service to NHS Scotland

Read more

Reactions to our report from other organisations

  • Prof Nancy Loucks OBE, Chief Executive of Families Outside
    Families Outside is a national Scottish charity that works solely on behalf of children and families affected by imprisonment...READ MORE

  • Alan Staff, Chief Executive of Apex Scotland
  • Apex Scotland has been working with people in the criminal justice system in Scotland for almost thirty years...READ MORE

  • Dr J Kay Richmond, Chairman of UK Programme Action Committee, Soroptimist International
  • Soroptimists in Scotland are involved with the Scottish Government to change the way in which women involved with the Criminal Justice System (CJS) are treated...READ MORE

  • Sheila Cron, former Head of Nursing for Health Improvement and Inequalities with Perth & Kinross Community Health Partnership.
  • I am disappointed but not surprised about the lack of progress with this agenda...READ MORE