Prison nurses praised for their end of life care

High quality of palliative care at HMP Norwich is recognised with a national award

The high quality of palliative care provided to prisoners by health staff has been recognised with a national award.

HMP Norwich received the quality hallmark from the Gold Standards Framework in September. It is the first prison to receive such an award because the Gold Standards Framework, which provides end-of-life care training, had until now only recognised care homes.

Dignity in death

However, staff on 15-bed L-Wing met the 20 standards ranging from leadership and support to dignity and respect. The staff are employed by Virgin Care.

Some prisoners refuse compassionate release that would allow them to leave prison to die at home.

Team lead nurse Scott Ralph said: ‘They know the care here is second to none and they regard this as their home.

Credit to nursing team

‘For us, the fact we are the first prison makes us proud because it demonstrates that no matter the environment, healthcare services can provide a good death, and that’s a credit to our nursing team.

‘Yes, it’s a prison environment but we do what we can to fulfil prisoners’ wishes.’

The award was presented by chief executive of the National Council for Palliative Care Claire Henry.

The cancer and palliative care nurse said: ‘It is very important that quality care is available to everyone as they approach the end of life, regardless of who and where they are.’

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