Posted on 17/07/2015

Compassion not judgement: why healthcare should not be based on circumstance

Compassion not judgement: why healthcare should not be based on circumstance

Look around any prison in the world and you’ll see people from all walks of life, serving sentences for many different reasons. It’s hard not to judge. After all, everyone there has been found guilty of something; they have done wrong in the eyes of the law and are now paying the price. You may not know what their crime is, you may not know the circumstances behind it, but that doesn’t matter…right?

We all have a story to tell

Since August 2012, NRS has been providing a Care Home Equipment Hire service in Buckinghamshire and in January 2014 we extended this to include working with local prisons, after a Senior Staff Nurse Health Promotion Lead from one said prison approached us with a troubling story.

The Nurse Lead at the prison had just been informed that a prisoner was being discharged from hospital having been diagnosed with Cancer. He had already started his treatment as an in-patient, however both he and his nursing team decided he would be more comfortable back in familiar surroundings.

This provided the nursing team with a challenge as they were concerned the prisoner’s current mattress would not be suitable for his recovery, hence the Senior Staff Nurse contacted NRS for advice.

Putting judgement aside

Cancer is a disease you would not wish on your own worst enemy. It is a cruel, crippling force that steals the lives of far too many. He may have been a prisoner, but this prisoner was also a man who needed care.

NRS worked with the nurses to find a suitable mattress that not only had pressure relieving qualities but also fit a prison bed.

Due to strict prison regulations, we could only deliver the mattress as far as Reception. Only the prison officers were authorised to fit the mattress, so one of our DBS checked technicians undertook the delivery to give a quick demonstration of how they could achieve this.

The prisoner returned from hospital and was able to continue his treatment whilst in his normal community setting, which aided his recovery.

The start of a new era

Since then NRS have provided several mattresses to prisons across Buckinghamshire and have established a good working relationship with the local prisons and their nursing teams.

Our most challenging delivery to date was for a prisoner who needed a profiling hospital bed and pressure care mattress due to a broken limb; this involved delivering and installing the equipment package into the prisoner’s cell. NRS worked with the hospital and prison to provide a workable solution as this time we couldn’t train the officers to install a bed!

Introducing our Safe+Well™ service

Now the new Care Act is in effect, NRS has started to work with the Care UK staff to provide advice and information into Buckinghamshire prisons through our Safe+Well™ service.

Safe+Well™ is a reliable and trustworthy professional service for Buckinghamshire residents who wish to keep their independence with the support of daily living aids, to make life a little easier around the home, and Telecare systems, which continuously monitor the user remotely to minimise risks such as falls.

Unbiased healthcare for all

In summary, we feel that all Buckinghamshire residents should have access to our free Safe+Well™ advice service, no matter what their circumstances.

Although we’re only at the beginning of the changes brought in by the Care Act, NRS are confident our experience will allow us to work in partnership with the prison service and their nursing providers to provide high quality advice, information and services to prisoners within Buckinghamshire.

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