COMMERCIAL: A contract to deliver prison health services at two Liverpool prisons has been awarded to Lancashire Care Foundation Trust.

The five year contract to deliver the services at HM Prison Liverpool and HM Prison Kennet was awarded to the mental health and community trust by NHS England following a tender process.

Prison

Lancashire Care has been running services on an interim basis with Mersey Care FT since January

The total value of the contract is expected to be published when it is signed next week.

Lancashire Care has been running services at the two prisons on an interim basis in partnership with Mersey Care Foundation Trust since the start of the year.

The trusts stepped in at the prisons after the previous provider, Liverpool Community Health Trust, pulled out from the contract.

Liverpool Community stopped delivering the services after a highly critical Care Quality Commission inspection last year found it was not meeting quality and safety standards.

The inspection found “low morale and a blame culture” among staff, and loose, unidentifiable tablets which had been popped out of their blister packs on one of the wings.

As part of the contract, the mental health service currently provided by Mersey Care at the prisons will also transfer to Lancashire Care in June.

Sue Tighe, network director of specialist services at Lancashire Care, said her organisation had a “strong track record of working with this population and recognise the vulnerabilities they are faced with as they enter prison”.

“Whether they are with us for acute health needs or end of life care we will provide excellent and compassionate care at all times,” she added.

The trust said it would develop pathways of care focusing on public health prevention and health and wellbeing promotion, including smoking cessation support and stress management.

It pledged to involve families and carers and to make sure “each service user is equipped to continue with their recovery as they are released back into the community”.

Louisa Sharples, NHS England’s head of health and justice for the North West, said: “We are pleased to be working with Lancashire Care Foundation Trust in the provision of the essential service for HMP Liverpool and HMP Kennet.

“Providing health and social care service for the prison population is a varied and challenging role which forms a crucial part of the rehabilitation of offenders.”