Independent Prison Panel Report

The States supported a motion to debate the above report, which is usually only included as an appendix to the Billet. My speech is below.

Sir, As I said in the earlier debate, it is odd that there are concerns raised in this report in relation to healthcare that are not referenced in the governors’ report. 

I any event, I will focus on a few aspects raised by the panel which I think need clarification and put in context.

Data sharing is raised. I find that ironic given the fact that HSC has been trying since before GDPR came in to get some advances in terms of data sharing.

Members may recall that in the Partnerhsip of Purpose we state.

o   good sharing of information, when sharing is appropriate, is as important as maintaining confidentiality. 

o   There is no contradiction between ensuring services rigorously protect the confidentiality of personal information whilst also proactively sharing information to optimise the care delivered. 

o   Sharing information is vital to provide a seamless, integrated service. 

  • Health and care professionals should have the confidence and a duty to share information in the best interests of their patients, in line with the policies of their regulators and professional bodies.

I am actually pleased to say that the issues referenced in this report have been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties. However, 

Now lessons can be learnt from the microcosm of the Prison to inform the wider requirement to embed a system of confident, appropriate sharing for the good of service users. Imagine the challenges in the Prison serving a population of 100 multiplied up to a population of 65,000 with a multitude of different agencies involved and its not surprising that there is this tension in the health and care system. 

–          Its great that in their latest Committee plan Home Affairs specifically acknowledged the role of data sharing in transforming services, but we need to see and feel it. It still feels like we are shouting in a vacuum.

In terms of the appointment of a mental health professional, this has been tried but I understand that it has been very difficult to make it work, It requires someone who is dual trained, which is rare. In addition, if it is a single person then the chance of them being there when needed is rare. A better model is in-reach from the mental health service but only for appropriate individuals. This is what our staff are trying to develop on top of the service already provided.

The Panel reference the need to bring in a primary healthcare system called EMIS. Whilst I agree that the sooner we can digitise records the better, it would not be appropriate to determine what that should be in advance. Indeed, it would be hoped that this could be linked through to the replacement of our current Trakcare system, rather than create a completely standalone system. And I can confirm that this is something that is being actively investigated as part of the digital transformation and integration of health and care records and may be brought to this assembly in the next few months.

Just one other point in realtion to e-burns and the comment that inmates would like to be able to have refills. E-burns are different from standard e-cigarettes with the focus of design primarily about security. The clear body enables staff to see nothing is hidden inside and the semi-rigid bodies make them less likely to be used as a weapon. It is not considered desirable or acceptable to make any changes from what is currently provided and which has worked well to date.

So, sir, an interesting report, and food for thought. I thank the panel for the work they do and raising issues that have been brought to their attention. However, I do believe that the quantity of quality of service from health and care professionals is second to none and whilst we can always do better believe that we should be proud of the support we give to those who find themselves in our island prison.

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