Health and Justice

There is now a substantial evidence-base which shows that those held within Scottish prisons are a particularly vulnerable population to experiencing health inequalities, with prisoners experiencing disproportionate levels of poor health and well-being. Prison populations not only tend to come from some of the most challenged communities in Scotland, their experience of health and well-being is amongst some of the poorest in the country (Equally Well, Scottish Government, 2008 and Better health, better lives for prisoners: A framework for improving the health of Scotland's prisoners, ScotPHN, SHPMG and SPS, 2011).

NHS Lothian is therefore working in partnership with both Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Addiewell and HMP Edinburgh to develop a whole prison approach to improving health and well-being for all those involved in the prison community.

This work includes the establishment of a forum, or network, where health promotion work can be taken forward in a comprehensive and integrated fashion. A health promotion action plan, based on the ‘Better health, better lives for prisoners’ framework, will be formulated and implemented in partnership with the prison establishments and other relevant stakeholders (including prisoners families, community-based public services, voluntary organisations). There is already ongoing health promotion work within both prisons which is being scoped and mapped. From this we will be in a position to either enhance this established work, or identify and address any gaps that could be progressed and included in a health promotion action plan. Such an action plan will include both a settings-based approach and a topic-based approach, and will range from supporting standards and practice, training, community service referral, impact assessment, personal planning and evaluation.

The Health Promotion Service was involved with 1 of the National Prison Healthcare Networks (NPHN) work-streams; namely the Through-care Work-stream which published its final report in January 2016 and can be found here. 

Last Reviewed: 15/05/2017