Colchester-based Care UK honoured for healthcare work in prison sector

Members of the Care UK healthcare team at HMP Stafford collecting the company's trophy at the Patien

Members of the Care UK healthcare team at HMP Stafford collecting the company's trophy at the Patient Safety Awards. Picture: HSJ - Credit: Archant

Colchester-based health and social care group Care UK has received national award for part of its work within the prison sector.

A Care UK team at HMP Stafford was singled out for praise by the judges at the annual HSJ Patient Safety Awards, with the company winning the category for Improving Safety in Medicines Management.

The Care UK healthcare team at HMP Stafford, which comprises doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants and other clinicians, offers prisoners a variety of care and supports them to manage their long-term conditions.

Healthcare assistant Angela Owen identified that the process for managing repeat prescriptions could be made more efficient and spearheaded an initiative to update procedures and create a single point of contact.

The new system has reduced errors by 84% and significantly reduced patient queries on medication, from an average of 12 per month to between five and zero.

It is so successful that Angela is now collaborating with Care UK’s national lead pharmacist to design a formal training programme to be delivered across all 40 establishments where the organisation provides healthcare, including seven prisons and young offender institutions across Suffolk and London.

Lorraine Mcmullen, regional manager for Care UK’s prison healthcare services, said: “Angela and the team at HMP Stafford absolutely deserve this award for their innovative management of medications that has improved patient care and the experience of our service.

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“Angela steered this initiative and designed an extremely efficient solution which has helped to make the whole service run more smoothly. We can truly be proud and will continue to progress front-line care in the knowledge that it makes a difference.”

Vikki Taylor, NHS England locality director (North Midlands), which commissioned the HMP Stafford team, said: “This is a justly deserved award and underpins NHS England’s drive to enhance the quality of care for people with long term conditions.

“Congratulations to Angela for shaping this new approach through successful patient consultation. We look forward to the launch of a training programme so that even more patients can benefit.”