Healthcare in Prison

South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust is responsible for the delivery of Healthcare across the three 3 Prison settings regionally, HMP Maghaberry, HMP Magilligan and HMP Hydebank Wood College (incorporating the female prison).

Healthcare in Prison (HiP) is an Integrated Primary Care service delivered by a highly motivated multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals who want to make a difference, improve the health outcomes for all people in prison and make Northern Ireland a safer place.

The team aims to provide opportunities for people to develop a positive attitude towards their health and well-being on an individual basis or through public health initiatives.

Improved mental health, physical health and substance use needs of people in secure environments has the potential to improve their quality of life while living in custody and have a lasting impact on their health beyond release. This will have a further positive impact on the wider community.

Our team comprising of General Practitioners (GPs), Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Dentists, Primary Care Nurses, Mental Health Nurses, Pharmacists and Allied Health Professionals (AHP) supported by Engagement Leads and a Governance Lead all underpinned by a Business Support Team find themselves in a unique environment with opportunities for strong, committed multi-disciplinary team working.

The service is focused on providing care that is of equivalent and consistent to that available within community and includes care from in-reach services.

HiP staff work collaboratively with our partners including Northern Ireland Prison Service, Regional Colleges and voluntary organisations to meet the needs of people in our care.

  • Entry to Prison

    Everyone who enters Prison will be offered an initial (day 0) and comprehensive physical health assessment (within 5 days) by our primary care nursing team, which endeavours to ascertain and meet their immediate and longer term healthcare needs. In addition to this, everyone who enters prison is offered a face to face Mental Health triage by a registered Mental Health Professional within five days of being committed.

    HiP Business Support Team connects with patients’ Community GPs / Pharmacies and other relevant healthcare teams where known, to ensure any treatment /appointments that have commenced  in the community are followed up whilst in prison. Information is gathered from the person and their significant others and Northern Ireland Electronic Care Records/ Encompass Records. HiP are sequenced to be part of the Regional Single Electronic Care Record project (Encompass) in 2025, but currently have access on a read only basis via Epic Care Link.

    We understand that sometimes this does not provide a comprehensive list of those who are involved in the patients care.

    If any healthcare team,  is aware of a patient who is open to your service who has entered custody and you have not been contacted, please contact us via the contact details below. Healthcare in Prison always welcome the opportunity for patients’ keyworkers from Community Services to keep in touch with us so that you can are updated on your patients progress. Onsite visits (subject to security clearance) can be arranged by contacting the office via email below.

    It is important that any healthcare appointments that are received at our patients’ home addresses while they are in prison are forwarded to Healthcare in Prison.

  • Healthcare during Custody

    Each residential location has an assigned Primary Care (General) Nurse. Patients’ healthcare needs that arise during custody will, in the first instance, be assessed by Primary Healthcare Nursing staff who will advise of next steps, as appropriate. This may include referral to GP, AHP services, Dental team and / or the Mental Health and Addictions Team.

    HiP Mental Health Team delivery of care is based on a Stepped Care Mental Health Model to ensure people with mental health disorders are helped to choose the most effective interventions and those requiring more intensive treatment are seen by the specialist professionals.

    If the person needs cannot be met within the Prison settings and requires in-reach or an external appointment, these are arranged as needed. If physical and/or mental healthcare needs extend beyond what can be safely managed within the prison setting, transfer to acute settings is facilitated to meet that need.

  • Screening and Health Promotion

    As part of the general primary care service provision, all individuals who live in custody can avail of regional health screening programmes such as breast, cervical and bowel cancer, diabetic retinopathy and abdominal aortic aneurysm. Sexual health, blood borne virus and latent tuberculosis (TB) screening are also provided and all patients are offered Hepatitis B vaccinations, COVID influenza, pneumococcal, shingles, meningococcal and measles/mumps and rubella (MMR) in line with the regional vaccination guidance and programmes.

    Healthcare in Prison adopts a ‘whole prison’ community development approach to health promotion within the prison environment. This is to encourage both those who work and live in a prison setting to get involved and take responsibility for improving their health and wellbeing which will have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the entire prison community. Our Engagement Team in partnership with other healthcare staff facilitate a range of services that contribute to health education, disease prevention and health promotion interventions.

  • Concerns during Custody

    If your family member, is currently in prison, and you have concerns regarding their health and wellbeing please do not hesitate to contact us on the details below. We will listen to your concerns and address these where possible, informing you of the plan within the limits of patient confidentiality.

  • Release from Prison

    When a patient is released from Prison, HiP will update NIECR, and will forward a discharge summary to the patients GP (if known) or to the Business Support Organisation if they are not registered with a GP.

    If a release date is known, HiP staff will contact relevant Community Health and Social Care Services in advance, to advise them of this and will provide a discharge summary, to facilitate the transfer of are back to your team. Please be aware, that sometimes release addresses and dates can change with minimal notice which is outside of the control of HiP. We also provide patients with a supply of discharge medication, where applicable.

  • Healthcare in Prison Careers

    If you are a healthcare professional who is interested in a career in Healthcare in Prison or even just learning more, please do not hesitate to contact us on the numbers below. We will happily arrange for a relevant member of staff to contact you to let you know more about this dynamic and innovative team.

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Contact Details

To speak to someone, please contact us on the number below and ask to have your call transferred to Prison Healthcare.

A healthcare professional is on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Other healthcare services available normal working hours Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm

Email usSend Email

 HMP Hydebank Wood College & Women’s Prison

Call us(028) 9025 3666

HMP Maghaberry

Call us(028) 9261 1888

HMP Magilligan

Call us(028) 7776 3311

Out of Hours

A nursing service is available in each prison establishment 24/7, 365 days a year.

Other healthcare services available normally during Monday-Friday: 9-5pm