Return Visit to HMP Low Moss 26-28 January 2018


Following the full inspection of HMP Low Moss, undertaken between 29 May and 6 June 2017, Mr Strang said that "In relation to the provision of healthcare, we will revisit the prison with colleagues from Healthcare Improvement Scotland early in 2018." This report is based on our findings during that return visit which was undertaken from 24 to 26 January 2018.

Mr Strang said:

‘What was immediately evident was the scale of the effort that had been made, and the volume of work undertaken since the full inspection. Work had been undertaken across a number of areas, with clear plans in place to address identified shortcomings.

The lack of an electronic prescribing process creates a number of issues for both staff and prisoners, and impacts on the smooth delivery of medications to patients. I find it surprising that an electronic system has not been developed to remove paper from this process, with all its associated risks. I am aware that this is not just an issue within HMP Low Moss, and would challenge NHS Scotland to deliver electronic prescribing within prisons as a matter of urgency.

The impact of the regular mass movement of prisoners on the delivery of services including healthcare, is something that local SPS management should look to review. This would enable them to fully understand the impact that it has on the delivery of core activities. It has a significant impact on the productive time of those delivering services. Local SPS management should review this situation, in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and other partners, in order to find a solution to significantly reduce this considerable restriction on core and critical services.

Finally the issue of the increased number of prisoners being assessed as being under the influence of an unknown substance is concerning. During this return visit, and in line with findings in a number of recent inspections, staff raised their concerns regarding the increasing number of prisoners being assessed as being under the influence, which staff generally attribute to Novel Psychoactive Substances or Spice. SPS management, at a national level, should assess and evaluate the impact that drug misuse is having on those working, residing and visiting prisons.

HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland will continue to monitor the progress in HMP Low Moss, through regular monitoring visits undertaken by Independent Prison Monitors and Inspectors.’