It was great to catch up with Laura Sapwell, the Governor of HMP Bullingdon last week. Prisons have undoubtedly faced some of the toughest challenges in responding to the pandemic, so I welcomed the opportunity to gain the Governor's feedback.
It was really interesting to learn how staff have adapted and implemented measures to protect everyone from the virus. From daily symptom checking, social distancing measures and masks, it is clear that the prison is prioritising the health of both staff and prisoners. I was pleased to hear that the mental health of prisoners is also a top priority, with phones available at all times for individuals to contact the mental health teams on site.
Staff have signed up for regular weekly testing and preparations are now being made for the introduction of lateral flow testing. I was very pleased to hear that Bullingdon has been working closely with the NHS and Public Health England throughout, who have been able to offer vital support.