Clinks’ Offender Health Bulletin

A useful monthly resource from national criminal justice charity Clinks:

Consultation on new care services The Care Quality Commission wants your views on planned changes to the regulation of adult health and social care services. The way that health and social care is delivered is changing, and as part of this they are consulting jointly with branches of the NHS and the public to respond to emerging new care models. You can take part in the consultation online. The deadline for comments is 14th February. Read more here

Benefits of peer support A study undertaken by national mental health charity Together for Mental Wellbeing has revealed that every pound spent on peer support for people in mental distress yields a social return worth £4.94. Peer support takes place when people with experience of mental distress support each other towards better wellbeing, as people of equal value and on a reciprocal basis, using their own lived experience of mental distress as a tool for support. Read more here

New alcohol addiction findings The UK Health Forum has worked with researchers around the world to produce a collection of peer-reviewed manuscripts focussing on alcohol marketing. The key findings include: exposure to alcohol marketing is associated with youth alcohol consumption; analysis of alcohol promotion during the 2014 FIFA World Cup indicates alcohol marketing practices appear to breach industry voluntary codes of practice; and that alcohol industry self-regulatory codes do not sufficiently protect children and adolescents from exposure to alcohol promotions, especially through social media. The papers offer guidelines to developing more effective alcohol marketing regulations. Read more here

Gender identity and youth The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) is running a survey for 13-24 year olds on ways of dealing with stressful or difficult things in life – in particular, how ideas about gender affect this. Young people are invited to complete one of two surveys, each with a chance to win a £15 shopping voucher. The NCB is also looking for practice examples from organisations working to support the mental and emotional well-being of children, adolescents or young adults, that purposely take gender into account in planning and delivery. Read more here

End of life care in prisons NHS England and Macmillan are developing a community of practice around end of life care in prisons. This aims to encourage colleagues from health, prisons, the voluntary sector and social care to come together to join a community of practice to develop, share and promote best practice in providing end of life care for prisoners. The community of practice is open to anyone to join. If you are interested in finding out more please contact Gillian Scott at

Accessibility in care NHS England has launched its Accessible Information Standard review. Since 1st August 2016, all organisations that provide NHS care and / or publicly-funded adult social care must follow the Accessible Information Standard in full. For example, providing Braille or a sign language interpreter at appointments. NHS England is conducting the review to assess the impact of the Standard. You can contribute to the review online. Read more here

Violence against women and girls The pan-London Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) consortium and other partners are organising an event [24th January, London, up to £50] to look at the landscape of the VAWG sector in London. The event is for commissioners and services directly addressing the needs of those affected by VAWG and related sectors, and will have a specific focus on housing, mental health and cross-sector campaigning. Find out more and book here

Social investment guidance MHPF, the national alliance of voluntary sector mental health providers, and Big Society Capital are holding an event to expand on their guidance on social investment opportunities for voluntary organisations working in mental health [30th January, London, free]. The event is a chance for organisations to learn more about different types of social investment and the opportunities. You will get to hear from organisations who have already taken advantage as well as the perspective of a local commissioner. For more information contact Edward on

Psychological support for homeless people Homeless Link is holding a one-day national summit [31st January, London, from £175] that will bring together stakeholders from mental health, homelessness and supported housing providers, commissioners and researchers to advance understanding of psychologically informed support and address the psychological and emotional issues faced by those experiencing homelessness or living in supported accommodation. Psychological and mental health problems affect large numbers of people experiencing homelessness or those in supported housing. Find out more here

Healthcare for men leaving prison A report on ‘Improving Access to Health Care Services for Men Leaving Leeds Prison’ has been published by Dr Sarah Woodin. The report presents outcomes achieved and issues arising from a health project carried out by West Yorkshire Community Chaplaincy Service (WYCCP) to assist 15 men leaving Leeds prison to achieve improved health and to make better use of health services. The report found that prison officers were often unavailable to escort prisoners to health appointments in prison due to other duties and that ex-prisoners reported poor treatment by health professionals in the community. WYCCP supported 17 ex- prisoners who had self- identified health problems to gain improved health and better connections to services, and supported a further four into housing. Read more here

Health inequality in the Criminal Justice System Revolving Doors launched their Rebalancing Act resource on the 11th January. The publication is intended to support a broad range of stakeholders to address the health inequalities of people in contact with the Criminal Justice System as well as the role of health agencies in reducing reoffending by addressing health-related drivers of criminal behaviour. It looks at how organisations can understand and meet multiple and complex health and social care needs. Read more here

Mental illness and substance misuse The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published its guideline on ‘Coexisting severe mental illness and substance misuse: community health and social care services’. This guideline covers how to improve services for people aged 14 and above who have been diagnosed as having coexisting severe mental illness and substance misuse. The recommendations in the guideline have been included in an online tool that brings together all related NICE guidance and associated products in a set of interactive, topic-based diagrams. Read more here

Health services in the justice system NHS England has published their commissioning strategy ‘The Strategic Direction for Health Services in the Justice System’. It sets out the ambition of NHS England to improve health and care outcomes for those in secure and detained settings, and to support safer communities. Developed in collaboration with health and justice leads, service users, clinicians, providers, and the voluntary sector, the ambition is to narrow the gap between those in the Criminal Justice System and the rest of the population in terms of health and care outcomes. Read more here

Commissioning in detention settings NHS England Health and Justice has recently published its commissioning intentions for 2017/18. These outline priorities for the commissioning of services in secure and detained settings in England. They also set out those priorities for Liaison and Diversion services, sexual assault referral centres and major national programmes (such as smoke free prisons, the Health and Justice Information System, children and young people, mental health transformation work stream, and substance misuse services). The intentions aim to support commissioners, providers and the management of the secure and detained estate, to make preparations for health care services in 2017/2018. Read more here

Combating loneliness Barchester Healthcare Foundation is accepting applications for grants from small local and community groups that help adults aged over 18 with mental and physical disabilities, and older people aged over 65. Grants of between £100 and £5,000 are available to groups in England, Scotland and Wales. Applications that combat loneliness and enable people to be active and engaged will receive the highest priority. Read more here

Health and wellbeing alliance The Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England are inviting applications from voluntary organisations to join the health and wellbeing alliance to promote equality, address health inequalities and help people, families and communities to achieve and maintain wellbeing. They are holding a series of ‘Meet the funder’ webinars between 23rd January and 6th February to provide further information, discuss the application process and provide an opportunity for potential applicants to ask questions. Read more here

Young people using drug and alcohol services Public Health England has published data from the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System on the numbers of young people receiving drug and alcohol treatment. Specialist substance misuse services saw 7% fewer young people in 2015-16 than in the previous year. The most common drug that young people presented to treatment with continued to be cannabis, followed by alcohol. Referrals came from a range of sources, with those from education services exceeding those coming from the youth justice system for the first time. Read more here

Action on suicide The Making Every Adult Matter coalition has responded to the Health Select Committee report on suicide prevention through a short blog. The Committee makes a number of welcome recommendations for action, ahead of the expected publication of a revised Government suicide prevention strategy in the new year. In particular, they call for measures to identify those most at risk in the community, particularly in non-traditional settings where the voluntary sector can play an important role. Read more here

Health and employment The Making Every Adult Matter (MEAM) coalition welcome Dame Carol Black’s review in this recent blog. The review has looked into the impact that drug and alcohol problems and obesity have on employment outcomes and how we can improve the services and systems that should support people with drug and alcohol problems towards employment. MEAM comment, “We agree with her conclusion that treatment, the benefits system and employers all have vital roles to play.” Read the blog here

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