All health services in Australia are required to be accredited against a set of standards, developed and monitored by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare. The standards were developed to protect the public from harm, and to improve the quality of healthcare provided by health services. Correctional Health Services, as a unit of the Tasmania Health Service, are required to be accredited against these standards. Whilst it is acknowledged that the standards of health services in prisons should be equal to those in the community these standards require that this is proven rather than mere rhetoric. Of the ten standards perhaps the most controversial for the prison environment, is about how health organisations partners with consumers, in this case prisoners, to improve the safety and quality of care. This presentation will provide an overview of how this standard was addressed in the prison environment and the principles that were applied to the establishment of a consumer group. Furthermore it will discuss how the concept of the consumer voice is supported and actively promoted within the prison. The adage of ‘nothing about us without us’ that so effectively ensured the consumer voice was heard within the mental health sector and resulted in changes to service delivery and improved health outcomes can now be effectively applied within the prison. It is hoped that this will ensure that people in prison are no longer passive recipients in the services that are delivered to them and this will not only improve health outcomes but their reintegration into the community.
Correctional Health Service, Tasmania Health Service
Population Health and Special Projects Coordinator
Biography: Deborah Siddall has over 30 years’ experience working in health and welfare in both government and community sectors. She has worked in diverse areas that have included homelessness, harm reduction programs, women’s health, sexual assault, and adolescent health. She is currently employed by Correctional Health Services to coordinate Population Health programs within the Tasmania Prison. This title allows for broad, creative and innovative program development. It was due to her role in health promotion that she was invited to lead the standard that partners with consumers. Deborah subsequently facilitated the establishment of the current consumer group applying her knowledge of community development and its principles as the foundation stones. She enjoys the diversity of her role and contributing to the positive growth of individuals.
Correctional Health Inmate consumer Group -