Good afternoon


Following the recent roundtable session on health and social care in the adult prison estate, I would be very grateful if the RPS in Wales could submit the following additional information to add to our written response please:


·         Pharmacists are a useful source of information on emerging health related issues that can impact on the prison population and can be well placed to provide appropriate support. For instance, e-cigarettes have increased in popularity in the prison population as in wider society and pharmacists can refer to the growing body of evidence to advise on their use as well as providing smoking cessation advice and support. Pharmacists can also work with their prison colleagues to understand and identify the risks of smuggling undetectable Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists (SCRAs), often known as Spice, in e-liquid. This is important due to adverse reactions from Spice that can cause mass poisoning. Ensuring health assessments are undertaken on admission to prison and including specific questions about the use of e-cigarettes is an area that should be addressed and where pharmacists can support.   


·         In the prison estate, pharmacists can help to identify where prescription and non-prescription items are being traded and diverted from one individual to another. These are quite unique challenges for optimising the safe use of medicines for people in secure environments. We fully support the use of clear processes and standards for observing and minimising the risks of drug diversion in secure environments.


·         It is important that people continue to access their medicines safely and promptly as they move within (including during transit for critical doses of medicines) or leave detention (with supplies accessible for a minimum of 7 days post release, whatever their destination). We believe that clear standards and processes should be adhered to support the medication regimen of the prison population, particularly during times of transfer (See link to RPS Professional Standards below) .


·         We believe that prison staff and the prison population must benefit from education about medicines to ensure the optimisation and safe use of medicines across the adult prison estate. This should include the use of controlled dugs and the risks associated with the use of those medicines.  


·         We recommend that the RPS Professional Standards for optimising medicines for people in secure environments are adopted in Wales to support the planning and development of safe, quality pharmacy services within the adult prison estate. These standards are available at:


I trust this additional information is helpful and hope this information can be included in the ongoing Health Committee deliberations.


If you have any queries whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Kind regards,