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Worcestershire acute hospitals offer screening to prisoners for the first time

Eligible men in Worcestershire’s prisons are now offered screening for a potentially serious health condition thanks to a pioneering scheme by Worcestershire’s Acute Hospitals.

The NHS Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Screening Programme invites all men for testing during the year they turn 65. The programme reaches the fastest growing age group in prisons, who previously had not received this screening for the condition which can be fatal in severe cases.

The AAA Screening team for Herefordshire and Worcestershire - which is run by Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust – met with the health care teams at HMP Hewell and HMP Long Lartin and adapted their programme to screen all the eligible men at the two prisons.

The first trial took place at HMP Long Lartin this spring, with two technicians and AAA project manager Cathy Schorah conducting screening tests on those who took up the offer of screening. The joint working between the two prisons and the AAA Screening team at the trust ensured this vulnerable section of the population has access to monitoring or treatment for a potentially serious condition.

The first trial proved highly successful and those who were screened were given their results immediately. A second screening session will be taking place for prisoners from HMP Hewell in the near future.

AAA Screening programme manager, Cathy Schorah said: “We’re really pleased to be successfully trialling this programme in Worcestershire’s two prisons. This was the first programme of its kind in Worcestershire and it is important to be able to offer this vital health screening to those housed within our prisons.”