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Older prisoners are the fastest growing subgroup in the English and Welsh prison estate. Older prisoners have high levels of health and social care needs. This mixed method study involved the distribution of a questionnaire examining the availability of health and social care services for older prisoners to all prisons housing adult males in England and Wales, followed by qualitative telephone interviews with representatives from eight prisons. Over half of establishments had some contact with external social care services but reported significant difficulties in arranging care for individuals. A professional lead for older prisoners had been identified in 81% of establishments; however the value of this role to positively affect practice appeared questionable. Statutory social care was often non-existent in prison due to the lack of understanding of what it constituted and who was responsible for its provision.
O'Hara, K. et al. (2015) Social Services will not Touch us with a Barge Pole’: Social Care Provision for Older Prisoners, The Journal of Psychiatry & Psychology,Vol.26, no. 2, 2015. doi:10.1080/14789949.2014.1000938