Criterion 1.1.2 Visits to patient living quarters by appropriate clinical staff members
Our medical or clinical staff members are able to visit a patient’s living quarters to provide urgent healthcare where such visits are deemed safe and reasonable.
► A. There is evidence that our service provides visits to patients’ living quarters for urgent healthcare (health records review, document review).
► B. Our staff can describe our service’s policy on visits to living quarters and the situations in which a visit is deemed appropriate (interview).
► C. Our service has a written policy on visits to living quarters (document review).
Visits to patients in their living quarters in a prison need to be available if clinically required and if such visits are deemed safe and reasonable.
For people in prisons, their living quarters need to be seen as their home, and in that context it is reasonable that health services in prisons have the capacity to provide visits to patients in their living quarters if clinically necessary. The need for visits to patients’ living quarters is likely to occur infrequently but when such visits are required (eg. for an emergency response), health service nurses, escorted by prison security staff, are most likely to provide such consultations. There are security and safety considerations involved in visits to living quarters and accordingly patients are more likely to be brought to the health service for medical care. Indicator B requires the health service to have the capacity to provide visits to patients’ living quarters by an appropriate member of the clinical team where it is deemed safe and reasonable to do so. Both prison and health service staff need to understand the service’s policy for providing emergency care in living quarters and how this will be facilitated (eg. for patients requiring resuscitation).
Staff need to be able to describe the conditions under which a visit to living quarters is deemed appropriate (eg. the types of clinical problems that might necessitate such visits).
What is ‘safe and reasonable’ is not defined here as it is a decision that each health service needs to make in the local context (eg. with regard to the location of living quarters and the prisoner population). What is safe and reasonable also needs to be considered by the health service in light of what their peers would agree was safe and reasonable.