This discussion explores some of the data from a social science PhD whose fieldwork took place in a category B, adult male, local and remand prison in England run by Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS). The debate analyses National Health Service (NHS) staff experiences of mental healthcare provision in a penal context and debates achievements, problems, and implications for future improvement. To summarise using a staff member narrative: “The will’s there and the skill’s there, but …” – staff are well trained and keen to provide outstanding healthcare but there are barriers impeding this aim. Issues that affect the wholly apt provision of healthcare in the prison are narrated as structural and establishment related – and not social or cultural. The nature of penal healthcare is explored; the following themes are raised: primary task, ownership, pride, efficiency, enjoyment, communication, and multi-disciplinary teamwork.
Jordan, M. (2017). "The will's there and the skill's there": prison mental health care. In H. Middleton, & M. Jordan (Eds.), Mental health uncertainty and inevitability: rejuvenating the relationship between social science and psychiatry. Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-43970-9