CM – Study underscores the importance of lived experiences of prisoners


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June 29, 2021

from University of Surrey

Unique to the study is the combination of interviews with current and former prison inmates, prison professionals, and health care providers to identify and understand barriers to providing quality health care and support to inmates. In addition, the researchers collected data on the number, types, and stages of cancers diagnosed in prison patients.

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In the future, the researchers believe that the results of this study will help inform cancer care policies in prisons and develop priorities for their improvement within the prison system. The research was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the research partner of the NHS, Public Health and Social Welfare.

Jo Armes, Reader in Cancer Care and Lead for Digital Health at the University of Surrey, who who led interviews with patients and professionals, said: “People in prison have the right to the same standard of care as in the community. It is very unclear whether this is the case with the current reporting systems.

“Not only is the number of prison inmates increasing, but the population group is also aging, which has an impact on an increased risk of cancer. Appropriate strategies need to be developed to ensure that detainees are diagnosed early and have rapid access to medical care, which also ensures effective and effective care and efficient use of NHS resources. « 

Professor Jo Rycroft-Malone, Director of the NIHR Health Services and Care Research Program, which funded the study, said, « This is an important area of ​​research and the first of its kind to examine cancer care in English prisons, including the types and stages of the disease and the treatments available to prisoners.

« A key feature of this study is patient and public engagement – one of the key values ​​of the NIHR – with ex-inmates involved in research planning who work as ‘lived experience researchers’ and interview patients and professionals.

« This study aims to identify the evidence gaps in this And hopefully their results will help improve the quality, accessibility and organization of services to patients and support clinicians and professionals in prisons. « Pavan Dhaliwal, Chief Executive of the Revolving Doors Agency, said: « People who are in contact with the criminal justice system often experience significant health inequalities – a higher burden of disease and less access to health services. Inequalities in society.

 » We are pleased to provide the lived experience in this important work . People with lived experience will bring unique perspectives, and we hope this will go a long way in transforming prison health care. « 

Further results from the main study outlined in the paper will be released later this year.

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