The National Audit Office (NAO) has published their report on value for money in prison mental health services, finding that:

“Improving the mental health of those in prison will require a step change in effort and resources. The quality of clinical care is generally good for those who can access it, but the rise in prisoner suicide and self-harm suggests a decline in mental health and well-being overall. The data on how many people in prison have mental health problems and how much government is spending to address this is poor. Consequently government do not know the base they are starting from, what they need to improve, or how realistic it is for them to meet their objectives. Without this understanding it is hard to see how government can be achieving value for money."

Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, 29 June 2017

It finds that neither the Ministry of Justice nor the NHS know how many people in prison have a mental illness, how much it is spending on mental health in prisons or whether services are achieving their objectives. Concluding that the government cannot be achieving value for money with prison mental health services without data on need and spending levels, the NAO makes a number of recommendations for improvement such as developing measurable and joint objectives for the Ministry of Justice, HM Prisons and Probation Service, NHS England and Public Health England and reviewing the process of transferring prisoners to hospital.


Click for the full report by health in prisons