Chronically ill prisoners can face great healthcare problems

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People with chronic illnesses can experience great difficulties in prison, but people such as drug addicts and the homeless may find their healthcare improves, according to a study in the latest Journal of Advanced Nursing.

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Researchers led by the late Gill Hek from the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the University of the West of England, Bristol, spoke to a cross-section of 111 prisoners in 12 prisons across the UK.

The problems they uncovered included an older, incontinent prisoner who had to use a bin bag to protect his mattress and a diabetic who regularly missed breakfast because he was only offered high sugar cereals.

"Little account appeared to be taken of the specific needs of these prisoners, which meant that they experienced daily discomfort, combined with fear of bullying" says Gill

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