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Enhancing dementia care and support in prison populations

Critically analysing the dementia care provision in the UK prison service in order to develop recommendations and support workshops to provide a better quality of care to those prisoners suffering from dementia.

Dementia in prisons

Researchers

Research background 

The rationale of this study is to explore and develop an understanding of prison nurses’ knowledge and skills in dementia care; design or adapt a prison specific dementia education workshop; identify or design a cognitive screening tool for prisoners, and develop dementia-specific care pathways for imprisoned people. There remains the need to support prison nurses, both Registered General Nurses and Community Psychiatry Nurses, knowledge and skills in dementia care in prison settings with the development of a specific dementia education workshop and an appropriate cognitive screening tool.

Research aims 

Therefore, the nurses participating in this research will inform the development of a prison specific dementia education workshop and an appropriate screening tool, which will support their knowledge and development of skills. The new knowledge created from this study will inform a validated prison specific dementia education workshop and an appropriate screening tool, which will be transferable to other prisons within the England and Wales Prison Service, and possibly beyond.

Phase one objectives:
  1. Describe the current dementia knowledge and skills of nurses working in a prison involved in the care and support of prisoners.

Research methods

Focus groups and interviews with mental health and primary care nurses working within a Category B Male Prison.

Projected outcomes 

Overall, the projected outcomes of this study are:

  1. An understanding of the current knowledge and experiences of supporting prisoners with cognitive decline by nurses in HMP Birmingham;
  2. The development or identification of an appropriate cognitive screening tool for prisoners, by nurses working in the prison setting;
  3. The development of a dementia education workshop specifically for nurses working in the prison setting, including how to complete the cognitive screening tool developed/identified;
  4. The development of a dementia-specific pathway from the identification of prisoners with cognitive impairment through to diagnosis and continued health and social care support and treatment within a prison setting.

References

Brooke, J., Diaz-Gil, A., Jackson, D. (2018). The impact of dementia in the prison setting: A systematic review. Dementia (London). Sep 30 doi: 10.1177/1471301218801715.

Brooke, J.M., Jackson, D. (2019). An exploration of the support provided by prison staff, education, health and social care professionals, and prisoners for men with dementia in prison: A phenomenological study. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology 30(5): 807-823.

Brooke, J.M., Rybacka, M. (2020). Development of a dementia education workshop for prison staff, prisoners, health and social care professionals. Journal of Correctional Health Care (accepted and in press).