People who have received or tried to access healthcare in prison since Covid-19

Information Sheet


We are carrying out a research project to find out what people who have been in prison think about the impact of Covid-19 on prison healthcare. We are inviting you to take part in a research interview.  Before you decide if you would like to take part you will need to understand why the research is being done and what it will involve.  We would be grateful if you could read the following information, or if it is easier, a researcher could read it out to you.

You can contact Lucy Wainwright or Sarah Senker who are the researchers on the study by phone (07555 422150) or email: (, or you can e-mail the person who is leading the study (Laura Sheard – for more information or if there is anything that is unclear.

Take time to decide whether or not you would like to take part.

The purpose of the study

We are interested in your views about receiving healthcare in prison since the pandemic began in March 2020. We mainly want to know about what you thought was good and what you thought was bad when you received healthcare in prison during this time. We’re interested in whether and how people feel their health needs have been met (or not) during the pandemic.

Why have I been invited?

You have been approached because you have been in prison recently and we are seeking the views of people like yourself. You do not need to have had Covid-19 or tested positive for Covid-19 whilst in prison to take part in this study. Taking part in the study is voluntary and if you decide not to take part this will not affect your use of services, legal rights or future healthcare use in any way.

What is involved?

A date and time for the interview to take place will be arranged between yourself and the researcher. You and the researcher will also decide the best way to conduct the interview (by telephone or video call). The interview is likely to last around 45 minutes. The interview is like having a conversation with the researcher, but we will be talking about your views of prison healthcare during the pandemic. The conversation will be recorded on a digital tape recorder so that there is an exact record. 

You will receive a consent form in either paper or electronic format. Before starting the interview, the researcher will ask you to say “I agree” to each of the statements on the consent form. This part of the recording will be kept separate from the interview recording.

Everything discussed is confidential; you do not have to answer any questions that you do not want to answer. However, the researchers have a professional duty of care that they must meet. This means that there a few occasions where we would need to inform someone senior outside of the research team about an issue talked about during the interview. This would happen if:

  • you were to tell the researcher that you intended to significantly harm yourself or another person
  • you tell the researcher about severe clinical harm that happened to you in the past within prison healthcare which you did not report at the time at the relevant authorities 
  • you tell the researcher about an illegal act that you have not been prosecuted for

If you change your mind about being part of the study after the interview you can withdraw your information up to three months from the date of the interview. You do not have to give us a reason for changing your mind and changing your mind will not affect your use of services or future healthcare in any way. 

How will I benefit from being involved in these interviews?

You will not benefit directly but you will help us to better understand the topic we are investigating. You may find it interesting to discuss your opinions with the researcher.

What will happen to the information I give?

The recording of the interview will be typed up and the recording will be deleted at the end of the study.  The typed up version of the interview will have all names and identifying features changed so that you cannot be identified. We may use quotations in our final report to our funders (Economic and Social Research Council) or in articles for academic and professional journals.  If we do use anything that you have said it will be made anonymous so that you cannot be identified. Information will be stored securely at the University of York and destroyed 5 years after the study has ended. This allows time to answer any questions that might arise about the way the study was conducted or what it found. The only people at the University of York who will have access to information that could identify you will be people who need to audit the data collection process and limited members of the research team. Your data will be held in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (2018).

Who has reviewed the study?

This study has been reviewed and given a favourable opinion by University of York Health Sciences Research Governance Committee on 14th May 2021 (Ref:21/448/F) and by the National Research Committee for Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) on 21st April 2021 (Ref: 21-034)

What if something goes wrong?

It is very unlikely that any harm should come to you as a result of taking part in the interview.  However, if you have any concerns about the way you have been approached or treated during this study, you can contact Professor Patrick Doherty at the University of York, who is independent from the study team.


Thank you for reading this information.