PERFORMANCE: The healthcare given to prisoners at HMP High Down has been praised in a report.  

The prison in Sutton is among four in Surrey which receive healthcare from Surrey Community Health.

In a report from HM chief inspector of prisons, Nick Hardwick, it is noted that healthcare is available to prisoners 24 hours a day offering a good range of appropriate services by well qualified health professionals who advise their clients on good health practice including smoking cessation, sexual health, asthma and diabetes. 

He also praised the health team for the introduction of a scheme where prisoners were trained to act as healthcare representatives giving information and advice to their fellow prisoners in order to encourage them to take measures to prevent illness before it happens. 

Sue Davis, lead for prison services at Surrey Community Health, said: “I believe passionately in the importance of good healthcare in prisons and at Surrey Community Health we continue to look at new and innovative ways of keeping prisoners well which helps to improve their life chances following their release.”

Governor Peter Dawson said High Down’s partnership with Surrey Community Health was one of the “jewels in the prison’s crown”.

He said: “It’s rare for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector to identify healthcare as a particular strength in a prison, but that’s what has happened at High Down in three successive inspections over the last six years.”