Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust wins £3m Lewes Prison contract

A CONTRACT worth £3m to provide healthcare to prisoners in Sussex’s largest prison has been awarded to Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The contract funds a nurse-led team to provide the 723 inmates at Lewes Prison with their basic primary healthcare needs, both physical and mental health, including pharmacy, dental and substance misuse treatment services.

This is a significant move for Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which is a specialist NHS provider of mental health, learning disability and substance misuse treatment serving 1.5m people across Sussex. The contract was awarded by the East Sussex Primary Care Trusts which managed the service until new rules were introduced by the Coalition Government which meant that they had to cease providing direct healthcare services by April 1.

The new service represents a first time move by Sussex Partnership into physical primary health care and underpins its growing reputation in secure and forensic mental health services (services for patients who enter NHS mental health care via the criminal justice system).

The 55-strong team includes a nurse consultant, a modern matron and more than 20 nurses and pharmacy staff. The team was transferred to the employment of Sussex Partnership on April 1. Sussex Partnership also works closely with the police and probation service. Morag Murray, Service Director at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said, “Sussex Partnership is delighted to have this opportunity to manage prison healthcare services at HMP Lewes and to support the work of the prison healthcare team. Our existing Secure and Forensic services have a long tradition of working in partnership with the prison. We already have considerable expertise in other mental health and related services for offenders.

“Taking on the HMP Lewes prison healthcare contract is a natural development for us. It will increase our opportunities to improve the health of offenders and, through close working with other agencies, ensuring robust pathways for people leaving HMP Lewes and so reduce re-offending.”