The DeCIsion study - Dementia in Prison: Care Pathway Workshops

16 May 2018

The Offender Health Research Network is currently undertaking research which is seeking to identify what pathways of care and staff provision should be provided to support older prisoners with dementia and mild cognitive impairment.

The number of people in England and Wales with dementia is increasing. There has also been a large rise in the number of older prisoners and so prisons are dealing with more people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and dementia than ever before and this is likely to worsen further. Government policy states that prisoners should receive the same quality and range of health services as people in the community but presently, anecdotal evidence suggests that prisoners showing signs of MCI and Dementia are doubly disadvantaged because of a lack of specialist services and, furthermore, they struggle with resettlement into the community.

The DeCIsion study (conducted by the Division of Psychology & Mental Health at the University of Manchester) seeks to develop better care for older prisoners with MCI and dementia by identifying the prevalence of MCI and dementia amongst the older prisoner population in England and Wales, and developing care pathways and a training package for prison officers and healthcare staff.

The study has collected data from 876 prisoners nationally. Information collected has informed the development of case studies which are currently being presented through a series of workshops which seek to identify what types of individual care packages need to be provided in prisons. From this, the study hopes to develop care pathways for those with dementia in prison, and training packages for staff.

The findings will be of relevance both locally and nationally.    

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