Current and emerging practice of end-of-life care in British prisons: findings from an online survey of prison nurses

Papadopoulos, Irena ORCID: and Lay, Margaret (2015) Current and emerging practice of end-of-life care in British prisons: findings from an online survey of prison nurses. BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care, 6 (1) . pp. 101-104. ISSN 2045-435X [Article] (doi:10.1136/bmjspcare-2015-000880)


Background There are concerns about prisoners and detainees not having equal access to end-of-life care while in prison. There is a lack of existing literature about the standards of end-of-life care in UK prisons.

Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate the views of current and former prison nurses with regard to the end-of-life care being provided in UK prisons.

Methods Prison nurses were invited to participate in an online survey and asked about their role in the prison, prisoners’ access to healthcare facilities, and any barriers and good practices to end-of-life care. The survey included open-ended and closed questions. The closed questions were analysed using descriptive statistics. The open-ended responses were coded and grouped into themes.

Results 31 (N=31) prison nurses responded to the survey. The reported barriers to end-of-life care included some prison regimes, lack of appropriate care and visiting facilities, lack of privacy and inadequate visiting hours. Respondents also reported examples of good practice, including having access to specialist palliative care and specialist equipment, and being able to receive visits from family and friends.

Conclusions The findings suggest that there is considerable variability in the end-of-life care provided to prisoners in the UK. Further research is needed in order to reduce the health inequalities and improve the quality of end-of-life care experienced by prisoners in the UK.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published Online First 3 November 2015
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Mental Health, Social Work and Interprofessional Learning
Item ID: 18420
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Rena Papadopoulos
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2015 10:52
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2019 15:58

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