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In England and Wales, there were around 83 000 people in prison at any one time in 2019. People entering prison are more likely than the general population to have experienced abuse, homelessness and unemployment, as well as having been taken into care,1 and these experiences and circumstances can result in complex healthcare needs. Despite this, there is a lack of quantitative evidence about the physical health of prisoners—information that is vital to ensure that healthcare services are commissioned appropriately.
The Nuffield Trust published a report2 earlier this year, which for the first time used routinely collected hospital data to look at how often and why prisoners use secondary care services. We found they use hospital services less and miss a higher proportion of appointments than the general population.
In addition to direct hospital admissions linked to coronary heart disease, prisoners were found to have a number …
Contributors MD analysed and interpreted the data and wrote the final report referenced in the paper. MD is a senior fellow at the Nuffield Trust and leads the Trust’s work on prisoner health.
Funding This study was funded by The Health Foundation (7873).
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.