Impact of C19 on prison healthcare: Summary of findings

Last week we released our report Impact of Covid-19 on healthcare in prisons in England: Early insights. In a previous post, we shared the key messages. In this post, you can read the report summary.


The pandemic led to a significant shift in the way healthcare was provided in English prisons. This review of reported changes to healthcare indicates the absence of a universal, centrally co-ordinated strategy which resulted in disparate responses around the English prison estate. This report provides an overview of the range of ways that Covid-19 has impacted on prison healthcare, the factors that drove this impact and its consequences.

Despite the variations observed, we identified some commonalities across the prison estate: most non-Covid related healthcare was initially suspended at the onset of the pandemic; subsequent availability and delivery was influenced by local conditions; and harm, unmet need and immediate and long-term risks to health resulting from changes to healthcare were universally reported.

This review identified an immediate and ongoing impact on the availability and delivery of healthcare and offers early insights into the potential implications for long-term health and health inequalities.

This summary has been reproduced from the report: Impact of Covid-19 on healthcare in prisons in England: Early insights by Krysia Canvin & Laura Sheard. Click to access the full report.

The Early Insights report focuses on so-called ‘grey literature’ (documents produced outside of academia); our separate review of the academic literature will be available soon. Subscribe or follow us on Twitter to receive updates.

Let us know what you think in the comments or contact us.

Find out more about Impact-C19P

Krysia Canvin is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Leeds

Laura Sheard is Associate Professor at the University of York

This research is funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), as part of UK Research & Innovation’s rapid response to Covid-19 (Reference ES/W001810/1)

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