A County Durham prison project supported by Macmillan Cancer
Support has won a prestigious international award.
The project aims to ensure that prisoners with serious incurable
illnesses receive appropriate end of life care within the prison
Led by Gill Scott, Macmillan Prison Project lead for end of life
care, who works for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation
Trust, the project has been running since July 2010.
The project scooped first place in the 'Development Award' category
at the International Journal of Palliative Nursing awards at the
end of March. The awards celebrate the outstanding work carried out
by palliative nurses worldwide.
The project team - Gill Scott, prison service 'Palliative Care
Champions', nurses Joanne Jacques, Nicola Carr, Gill Flinn,
Palliative Care Champion Prison Governor Bob Gibson and Macmillan
Prison Practice Development Nurse Kay McAlinden, who succeeded Sam
Johnston in this role, - attended the awards ceremony at the
Landmark Hotel in London to collect their award after beating off
competition from around the world.
Gill Scott said: "I am very happy that the project has been
recognised in this way - it is a tribute to the team's commitment
and demonstrates the value of a collaborative approach to
developing solutions to complex problems-using the expertise of
discipline staff, prison nurses, chaplains, family liaison
officers, commissioners, and specialist palliative care services,
as well as input from the prisoners themselves.
"Increasingly prisons are coping with an ageing population of
prisoners whose health may already be poor. Many prisoners
will require end of life care in prison, and others will need
treatment and palliative care for their illnesses during their
sentence. Being in a complex environment like prison with a
life threatening illness can be extremely challenging for the
prisoner, the prisoner's family and staff providing care. It is
important we work together to ensure the delivery of equitable
The project has resulted in the development of a service
improvement tool in the form of standards to guide the organisation
and delivery of care in prison. They reflect national standards for
end of life care as well as recommendations from the prison
The team is also developing a toolkit to support the standards and
provide education in end of life care for prison health and
discipline staff. They have developed prison specific
information for prisoners and their families, which includes a DVD
based on questions and concerns of prisoners and their
The project is supported by Macmillan Cancer Support, North East
Strategic Health Authority, North East Offender Health
Commissioning unit, as well as by County Durham and Darlington NHS
Published: 15 April 2011
'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after
and very impressed.'
Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital