NHS Arden & GEM CSU has been commissioned by NHS England to deliver a 12-month pilot Continuing Healthcare Assessments programme for the prison population across the Midlands and East of England.
Assessments consider an individual’s eligibility for packages of ongoing NHS-funded healthcare where a primary health need exists, and can be requested either by the patient, their family, other healthcare professionals or, in this case, prison staff.
Having identified a gap in service provision, NHS England sought proposals from providers willing to work in partnership to develop a new Continuing Healthcare Assessments Service for prisoners with ongoing healthcare needs. NHS Arden & GEM CSU was selected based on a combination of experience, local delivery and commitment to work together to deliver positive outcomes for patients.
Providing a single point of access for all referrals, reviews and care package brokerage, NHS Arden & GEM CSU will establish a dedicated hub for administrative staff to conduct scheduling, brokerage, invoicing and reporting, with clinical staff attending the various prison establishments on a needs-led basis. Clear roles and responsibilities have been identified, supported by robust technology to manage patient data and track referrals and assessments. Skilled nurse assessors will focus on delivering timely, high quality eligibility and care options assessments, while the team’s Senior Nurse will be responsible for managing relationships with the Health and Justice Commissioning Team and existing health and social care providers.
Alfonzo Tramontano, Chief Nurse from NHS Arden & GEM CSU said:
“This pilot presents an important opportunity to fill a gap in service provision with a high quality, patient-centred and cost-effective service which ensures the prison population has access to appropriate health and social care support. We are delighted to have the opportunity to deliver and refine this service in partnership with NHS England and other organisations over the next 12 months.”
This contract follows the successful delivery of CHC services to Clinical Commissioning Groups across eight different counties. As a result the CSU is well placed to deliver this pilot, drawing on its existing specialist CHC teams in the Midlands and East of England.
As part of the contract, the CSU will ensure all staff entering a prison setting adhere to relevant Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Service Regulations as well as the requirements detailed in the National Offender Management Service’s Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) system.