Date lodged: 16 March 2017
To ask the Scottish Government how it ensures that prisoners across the prison estate have equity of access to care and services, including throughcare support.
Answered by: Shona Robison 28 March 2017
Since 2011 the responsibility for the provision of healthcare in prison settings changed from the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) to NHS Scotland. NHS standards for health care therefore apply to the provision of care within the prison setting and the Scottish Government expects Health Boards to act appropriately to meet these standards.
Health boards advise that all prisoners in Scotland with sentences of less than six months retain any registration they hold with their community General Practice and are registered as temporary residents with the prison healthcare centre. Prisoners with a sentence of six months or more are registered permanently with the prison health centre. Upon release these prisoners are required to re-register with their community General Practice to ensure continuity of care. The process of re-registration is encouraged and assisted by prison healthcare staff and others involved in the prisoner’s liberation and throughcare planning. Guidance has been issued by Practitioner Services Division, National Services Scotland to General Practices on the re-registration of liberated prisoners.