Health bill risks disrupting care for offenders leaving prison, warns peer

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 16 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5912
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

A Labour peer who led an independent review of prison drugs treatment has warned that the coalition government’s commissioning reforms could harm the healthcare of offenders.

Lord Patel of Bradford said integrated care was crucial for prisoners leaving custody with complex needs, including drug, alcohol, and mental health problems.

But, he told a seminar in London on 13 September: “I’m becoming more concerned that the continuity of care for people on release will be fragmented.”

Lord Patel chairs the prison drug treatment strategy review group. He was speaking at a seminar organised by the Westminster legal policy forum entitled “Next steps for offender health—assessing a renewed strategy.”

Under government reforms in England, it is proposed the NHS Commissioning Board will be responsible for coordinating the commissioning of all healthcare services …

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