11:20am Tuesday 7th May 2013
HEALTH care in police custody provision in Hampshire is in need of attention, according to a government report.
HM Inspectorate of Prisons has published the report following an unannounced inspection earlier this year.
The inspection, which was part of a national programme of joint inspections of police custody, looked at nine custody suites including Southampton, Winchester, Fareham, Lyndhurst and Newport in the Isle of Wight.
The report says improvements have been made but some areas still need to be addressed.
Some of the findings were that strategic control had improved, with a move to centralised management of custody and full staffing, inspectors were managing staff actively, staff were positive and considerate in their treatment of detainees, and suites were kept clean - despite most showing signs of wear and tear.
But inspectors were concerned to find that none of the medical rooms were fit for purpose and there was a “lack of strategic oversight and control”, the performance of the main contracted provider of primary care was not monitored, arrangements for substance misuse interventions were “patchy” and mental health provision was “complex and inconsistent”, and the provision for people with disabilities was “weak” in most suites.
Nick Hardwick and Dru Sharpling said: “Overall, the force has recently improved its strategic grasp of custody work, but needs to extend this to health care provision, and this report highlights a number of other areas where consistency and compliance can be further improved across the force.
“The report provides a small number of recommendations to assist the force and the Police and Crime Commissioner to improve provision further.
“We expect our findings to be considered in the wider context of priorities and resourcing, and for an action plan to be provided in due course.”
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