Clinks Offender Health Bulletin [September 2017]

In this month’s edition…

Health and care survey
Clinks wants to hear your views on health and wellbeing for people in contact with the criminal justice system, the services available to them, and priorities for change. Our short survey includes questions about the work you do, the health and wellbeing of your beneficiaries, and how to improve health and care services. Many of the questions have come directly from policy teams at the Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England. Clinks will use the information you give us to influence key health and justice policy makers. The survey will close on Friday 20th October. Click here to complete the survey

Physical health in prison
A ‘Quality Standard on Physical Health of People in Prisons’ has been published by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). The quality standard covers assessing, diagnosing and managing physical health problems of adults aged 18 years and older in prisons or young offender institutes. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement. Several agencies contributed to its development, including Public Health England, Revolving Doors Agency, Prison Governors Association, Royal College of General Practitioners and Royal College of Nursing. Find out more here

Gender identity services
NHS England has launched a 12 week consultation on specialised gender identity services for adults (17 and above). It wants to hear people’s views on two proposed service specifications: one for how Gender Identity Clinics will deliver specialised outpatient services; and another for how surgical units will deliver surgical interventions. The consultation is open until 16th October. Find out more here

Commissioning impact on drug treatment
The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) has published a report entitled ‘Commissioning impact on drug treatment: The extent to which commissioning structures, the financial environment and wider changes to health and social welfare impact on drug misuse treatment and recovery.’ The ACMD has concluded that drug and alcohol treatment appears to be facing a disproportionate decrease in resources, likely to reduce treatment penetration and the quality of treatment in England. Find out more here

Increased access to mental health services
The Secretary of State for Health has announced a comprehensive workforce plan, outlining how the health and care system will meet the diverse needs of people who access mental health services. It has promised to increase access to mental health services by one million extra people by 2021. Find out more here

Health in London
The Mayor of London has launched his Draft Health Inequalities strategy to help create a healthier and fairer society, and to help make the healthier choice easier for everyone, including the most disadvantaged. The Mayor of London wants to know what you think about these plans and your ideas for improving health and wellbeing for all Londoners. While the health of Londoners has improved over the years, not everyone enjoys the full benefits of a life lived in good health. Find out more here

Involving service users in governance
This service user involvement managers’ network event [14th November, London, £25, Clinks members only] will explore different ways to involve service users in governance. You will hear practical examples of how organisations go about involving people with lived experience in their governance arrangements, and the experiences of the people involved. We’ll also discuss the recent Charities Act legislation and what you need to do to recruit or retain people with convictions as trustees. Find out more here

Deaths in custody
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has published ‘Six missed chances’, a report on how a different approach could have prevented James Herbert’s death in custody in Yeovil in 2010. It includes national recommendations for how police officers respond to people with mental health concerns. Find out more here

Drug strategy
Clinks has published a briefing on the Government’s Drug Strategy. The briefing summarises the main aspects of the strategy, which was published in July, and indicates what impact the strategy is likely to have on Clinks members. Clinks is supportive of the overall aims of the strategy which focus on both reducing drug use and supporting people in their recovery. However, although the Government recognises that fully funded services are essential for ensuring the aims of the strategy are realised, it is unfortunate that the strategy does not recognise or seek to address the challenging funding environment drug and alcohol misuse services are operating within. Read the briefing here

Multiple needs and political leadership
The Making Every Adult Matter Coalition, of which Clinks is one of the partners, has published ‘Multiple needs: time for political leadership’. This publication looks at the Government response to multiple needs, and is based on consultation carried out over the summer with experts by experience and frontline practitioners from our local partners. We would like the government to: commit to tackling both the causes and consequences of multiple needs; collaborate across government so every department is working together to address multiple needs; challenge local areas through setting a clear expectation that every local area must take effective action to support people with multiple needs; and invest by making sure flexible funding is available which encourages services to work together and allows them to respond to local needs. Find out more here

Race, mental health and criminal justice
Clinks, along with Nacro, Association for Mental Health Providers, and the Race Equality Foundation, have published ‘Race, mental health and criminal justice: Moving forward’. This joint briefing explores the challenges in providing effective mental health support for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities that have contact with the criminal justice system, and gives recommendations on how to address them. People from BAME communities are disproportionately represented at all stages of the criminal justice system, and are also more likely than white Britons to access mental health care via criminal justice rather than through local health services. Read the briefing here

Equality and human rights
The Care Quality Commission has published ‘Equality and human rights: good practice resource’. It asks: ‘how can a focus on equality and human rights improve the quality of care in times of financial constraint?’. The resource aims to help providers put equality and human rights at the heart of their improvement work so that the quality of care gets better for everyone. It discusses how commissioners, regulators and policy-makers can support providers to focus on this issue. Find out more here

Health and justice annual review
Public Health England has published its Annual Review 2016/17. It provides some of the current data and evidence in relation to key public health concerns in our prison population including infectious diseases, substance use, and mental health needs. It has a focus on the fastest growing population in prison- older people (aged 50 and over). Read the review here

Reducing drug related deaths
Collective Voice has published a report in partnership with NHS and Public Health England, looking at how treatment providers can help reduce the numbers of drug-related deaths. The document includes seven key recommendations it believes providers and those commissioning services should commit to. These include that drug treatment services should review their information systems to enable data relevant to risk of overdose to inform individual treatment plans and that all providers should establish clear protocols for managing the risk of overdose and ensure their staff are competent to implement them. Find out more here

Health and wellbeing
The Department of Health and Public Health England’s Health and Wellbeing Fund 2017/18 for social prescribing is now open for applications. Voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations can apply to use the funds to promote equality, address health inequalities and support the wellbeing of people, families and communities. The Department of Health will be hosting three webinars to provide further information on applying to the fund [25th September, 27th September, 16th October, free] which will cover the application process and provide an opportunity for potential applicants to ask questions. Voluntary sector organisations that wish to attend a webinar should email The closing date for applications to the fund is 21st November. Find out more here

Learning for health
Public Health England has produced an update to the ‘e-Learning for Health’ programme on community-centred approaches to health improvement. These two new e-learning modules are suitable for practitioners, managers and commissioners who want an update on evidence and guidance on community-centred approaches to health improvement and to take a more strategic and planned approach to scaling-up community-centred approaches. Find out more here

Making sense of social prescribing
The Social Prescribing Network has released ‘Making Sense of Social Prescribing’. This document is designed to act as a guide to new commissioners and existing professionals who are active in the social prescribing field. It has been co-produced by a group of people already involved in social prescribing and covers a range of subjects, including different models, risk management and governance, commissioning and evaluation checklists and making good quality referrals. Find out more here

Preventing mental ill health
Public Health England has developed a tool to help local public health teams prevent mental ill health. It puts in place eight initiatives proven to reduce the incidence and/or risk of mental health problems at all stages of life: children and young people, the working age population and older people. Find out more here

Recruit and manage volunteers
NCVO has produced guidance on ‘Recruiting and Managing Volunteers in NHS providers’. Aimed at both NHS organisations and voluntary organisations, the guidance was developed with the help of voluntary sector bodies. It aims to support the growth of volunteering in the NHS and includes practical advice on recruiting and retaining volunteers, including people in contact with the criminal justice system. Find out more here

Health and homelessness network
The Faculty of Homeless and Inclusion Health (FHIH) is a membership organisation that has been set up for people who support those who face barriers to accessing healthcare e.g. homeless people, people who are involved in the sex industry, vulnerable migrants, gypsies and travellers. FHIH brings together everyone from doctors, nurses, hostel workers and benefits advisors, to commissioners and researchers and people with lived experience, to help vulnerable people. By sharing information and meeting regularly in hubs across the country, FHIH try to make sure that everyone can get the healthcare and support that they need. Membership is free. Find out more and join here

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Designed, composed and circulated by Rhiannedd Mclean, Clinks.