Friday, December 30, 2011

Punitive Health Care

Outside of bad porn or dim basements in Essex, being punished by a nurse is an uncommon occurrence. Except in prison.
What penalties do you suffer if you fail to attend an appointment with your GP? If you really take the Mickey, being struck off his list; but for missing the odd surgery? Perhaps some verbals from the practice manager, a sternly worded letter or two?
The NHS - repeat, NHS - staff who work in prisons have a more potent arsenal to draw upon, the privilege system. For failing to attend an appointment they can issue a formal warning under the Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme (IEPS).
These warnings affect our level of privileges. How much money we can spend to phone our families. How often we can receive a visit. And, at open prison, when or whether we can work in the community or have home leaves.
Even if we put aside the legality of NHS staff using the prison's mechanisms of control, the question of its ethics is something I'd really like to see justified.


  1. Not to dimish the seriousness of the situation as you describe here for prisoners Ben, but being struck off the GP's surgery out here is becoming quite a problem. There are a fair number of people in London without a GP at all. There are horror stories of what creeping and back door privatisation is meaning to peoples lives and welfare, and the horror stories are coming in thick and fast.

    You are right to question the ethics of what you and the others in prison have to endure, and its getting pretty grim for many people out here too. I'm just saying how dumb and disengenuous this whole system is to the majority, although I appreciate the fact that you guys get the most gruelling and indignant treatment of all : (

    Thinking of you Ben, take care and look after yourself x

  2. You must stick up for your right to squander NHS resources. Fight the power.