STRUCTURE: A pilot scheme which helps ex-offenders to get health checks has been extended in Liverpool.

Nurses from the prison health care service part of Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust have been working with the probation office in Old Swan, giving ex-offenders a health screening programme to identify who needs further treatment.

The service has now been extended for the foreseeable future, with staff to divide their time between the Old Swan and Kirkdale Probation Offices from March to ensure greater level of coverage.

When offenders visit the service for their regular appointments, Probation Offender Managers complete a health screening questionnaire with them. They are then referred to the nurses who are on site once a week.

From September to December 2010, the nurses saw 63 offenders. Of these, 50 were signposted to GPs, and 46 were signposted to a dentist. A further 11 were immunised against Hepatitis B, and 11 were given treatment including wound dressing.

Offenders are also registered with a GP and a dentist, offered hepatitis vaccinations, Chlamydia screening and a general mental health assessment.