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Failures in medicines management at HMP Stafford

The safety and humane treatment of residents (prisoners) has been severely and negatively impacted by medicines management at HMP Stafford, says the Independent Monitoring Board in its 2021-22 annual report, published today.

The IMB has consistently and repeatedly raised this with the healthcare provider as well as national and oversight bodies. The report documents the consequences for residents who did not receive the right medication at the right time and in the right dose.

The IMB also notes that:

  • overall HMP Stafford was an establishment where its residents felt safe
  • despite the pressures brought on by Covid-19 and the medicines management issues during the last 12 months prison staff had gone beyond the call of duty to help and support the residents
  • medicines management did start to improve towards the end of the reporting period
  • unlike virtually all other establishments only one resident did not have accommodation upon their release.

IMB Chair, Clive Noak, said:

“Since the publication of our previous 2020-21 Annual Report we have constantly raised the issues associated with the negative outcomes of medicines management at HMP Stafford. Imagine the anxiety you would feel when locked up for 23+ hours a day during the height of Covid-19 and being unsure as to whether or not you will receive your medication. This was neither safe, fair or humane, as we reported to the commissioning authority, and at one point was described by a healthcare manager as a ‘systemic failure’. Apart from this, the Board commends the staff and departments at HMP Stafford for the work they performed under the challenges presented to them by Covid-19.’