Corporate report

A review of health and social care in women’s prisons

This report summarises the findings and recommendations from the National Women’s Prisons Health and Social Care Review.

Applies to England and Wales


The National Women’s Prisons Health and Social Care Review


The National Women’s Prisons Health and Social Care Review was established by HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and NHS England in January 2021, supported by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) with a shared commitment to:

  • improve health and social care outcomes for all women in prison and upon their release
  • reduce inequalities
  • ensure equity of access to the full range of health and social care services for all women across the women’s estate.

Women in prison have disproportionately higher levels of health and social care needs than their male counterparts in prison and women in the general population. High numbers of women in prison experience poor physical and mental health and many are living with trauma. Findings from this Review further highlight the vulnerability and adverse life experiences of many women in prison.

This publication sets out eight strategic recommendations, aligned to eight key findings. In collaboration with NHS England, a Women’s Health, Social Care and Justice Partnership Board will be established by the end of 2023 to oversee delivery of the eight strategic recommendations in this report. Through this governance structure, we will develop a three year joint delivery plan by Spring 2024, underpinned by £21m health funding and with ongoing involvement from women with lived experience.

Published 23 November 2023