Thursday 25 July 2024
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Nottingham

Nottinghamshire prisons need more social care support

Several prisons in Nottinghamshire are seeing increasing demand for social care support.

Nottinghamshire County Council documents show that plans are in place to recommission social care support in prisons when a current contract comes to an end in March 2024.

For Ranby, Whatton and Lowdham prisons the council currently pays £72,500 per year for social care at these sites.

Dedicated social workers are responsible for assessing the needs of prisoners within the three prisons.

The Nottingham and Nottinghamshire care system is responsible for the care and support of all prisoners.

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Council documents reveal that Whatton prison has been “earmarked for expansion” and initial site visits have taken place.

“As the population within Whatton is generally older this could have a potentially significant impact on the requirements for social care in the future”, the document explained.

But currently, there is no date set for the proposed expansion.

Nottinghamshire County Council currently pays £60,000 a year for the support at Whatton Prison which includes occupational therapy.

Council documents stated: “Prisoners can often have complex health and care needs and experience poorer health and mental health outcomes than the general population.

“As the population within Whatton is generally older, this could have a potentially significant impact on the requirements for social care in the future.

“The prison population at Whatton is predominantly older males and therefore a significant portion will require care and support packages due to conditions associated with ageing.”

At Ranby Prison, the county council pays £12,500 per year for social care provision.

Documents added: “Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust has had difficulties recruiting and retaining staff at Ranby which would impact on their ability to deliver hours of support if a need arose.

“Reducing the funding for Ranby is not an option due to the increased demand that has been seen over recent months.

“This is expected to be maintained (or possibly increased further) as the prison is also earmarked for expansion.”

Lowdham prison predominantly has a younger population meaning there is currently no need for social care support.

The county council has now recommissioned social care support in prisons from April 1 2024 for a period of seven years with a possible two-year extension.

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