WHO Collaborating Centre for Health in Prisons and its relationship to the WHO Health in Prisons Programme in Copenhagen

This is a description of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Collaborating Centre (CC) for Health in Prisons. The CC is located within the Department of Health (DH), London, England. However, the University of Central Lancashire is a Partner Organization of the WHO Programme, and provides the major functions of running the CC on a day to day basis through its Healthy & Sustainable Settings Unit within its School of Health.

The purpose of the WHO Health in Prisons Programme (WHO HIPP), which is based in the WHO European Regional Office in Copenhagen, is to support Member States in improving public health by addressing health and health care in prisons, and to facilitate the links between prison health and public health systems both at national and international levels. For a full description of WHO HIPP, including access to its many publications, visit www.euro.who.int/prisons

The Purpose of the CC is to support WHO HIPP in achieving its strategic objectives through delivery of the HIPP Work Plan. The CC has been involved with WHO HIPP since its inception in 1995. As well as helping to shape the strategic direction of the work, the CC has worked closely with the other stakeholders and members in planning the annual meetings and conferences, and in drafting publications. The 10th Anniversary Conference, ‘Prisons and Public Health: the next ten years’ was held in London in October 2005, as part of the UK’s Presidency of the EU.


The Collaborating Centre’s Co-Directors are Richard Bradshaw, Director of Offender Health in Department of Health, England and Dr Andrew Fraser, Director of Public Health Sciences NHS Scotland

The Collaborating Centre’s Deputy Director is Paul Hayton, based at the Healthy & Sustainable Settings Unit, School of Health, University of Central Lancashire. Paul is accountable to Dr Mark Dooris in the Healthy & Sustainable Settings Unit of UCLan’s School of Health, but is responsible to Richard Bradshaw and Andrew Fraser for day to day running of the CC.

To contact the Collaborating Centre please write in the first instance to Paul.Hayton@dh.gsi.gov.uk telephone 07867 538391 To learn more in general about the Programme, and to access its strategic objectives, publications and latest news, please follow this link: www.euro.who.int/prisons

WHO Health in Prisons Project (WHO HIPP) Best Practice Awards Scheme 2005 to 2011


The scheme is not currently active. However it provides a useful archive of Projects and Programmes from countries involved in the WHO HIPP that have won an award over the years, and so the information is maintained here.

It was agreed at the Moscow WHO HIPP Network Meeting in 2003 that the Collaborating Centre should create a WHO HIPP Award Scheme ‘to identify, acknowledge and disseminate best national practices concerning prison health among our member states’. The Scheme was launched at the 2004 meeting in the Netherlands, and the first Awards were presented at the 2005 Network meeting in London.

Frequency and Timing of the Award

The Awards were given biennially (i.e. once every two years). Prisons could only apply for an Award through their country’s National Counterpart, the official representative of each country to HIPP. The Counterpart was responsible for organising local selection procedures and for forwarding of application forms for an Award to the CC.

Main Aims of the Scheme

  1. To achieve better prison-level recognition in our countries of prison health development.
  2. To give encouragement and recognition to staff of prisons, and those who support them in the wider community; all those who are working to promote the health of people in their prisons.
  3. To learn from the process of identifying these best national practices, including learning about barriers to progress, and how the WHO HIPP can help with wider dissemination of useful information.
  4. To encourage Members to consider how much the identified prison or practice could act as an example within that country and beyond.
  5. To consider with Members the feasibility of the identified prisons acting as good examples for prisons of other Member countries.

In addition the Awards were intended to be:


  • simple to administer;
  • sensitive to potential language problems and cultural issues;
  • realistic in its demands of the time of staff;
  • safe (in that any recognition is clearly for one or more clearly established best practices at the particular time the Award was granted, and there is no attempt to cover aspects of prison life outside the remit of the WHO HIPP);
  • and fair for all prison systems.

Breadth and Scope of the Award Scheme

The Award recognised best practice within a particular prison, or best practice that illustrated co-operation between a particular prison and the wider community, and was awarded to the prison, not individuals. The Scheme was not prescriptive: best practice can be recognised in a very specific aspect of prison health, or recognised as a comprehensive or ‘whole prison approach’ to tackling an issue in the prison setting. The scheme was open to any suitable prison to apply for, with the support of both the Governor or Director and national Counterpart. Initiatives involved not just health care staff, but any staff significantly contributing to prisoners’ health, or indeed individuals from the wider community significantly contributing to prison health.

Categories of Award

Category 1: an example of best practice regarding health care services provided to prisoners. This category includes any aspect of the clinical care provided to prisoners by doctors, nurses or other healthcare professionals.

Category 2: an example of best practice regarding any of the following, or a combination of the following: prevention, health education or health promotion services provided to prisoners. For example, members of staff (not necessarily medically trained staff) working within the prison might provide the service, or it may involve peer education i.e. using specially trained prisoners.

Category 3: an example of best practice, which demonstrates effective co-operation between a prison and the outside community, in the area of health improvement. This category includes any aspect of improving the health and well being of prisoners.

Number of Awards Granted

Each WHO HIPP Network Member Country can put forward a single entry in each category.

From the received entries up to 5 will be chosen for an Award in each of the three categories listed above, so that a total of 15 Awards may be made in an award year.

Only prisons and their partner organisations could apply for the Award, which contained all the relevant information on applying, and were available through the WHO HIPP National Counterpart for each member country (An up-to-date list of Counterparts can be found by using the link to WHO: www.euro.who.int/prisons)

Administration of the Scheme

The onus was upon each member state to filter its own applicants and enter only one for each category. In sending an application, the Counterpart was verifying that the forms are accurate and that the applicant prison has made a significant demonstration of best national practice in one of the categories listed above.
Recommendations for the Award were collated and sifted by WHO HIPP CC, and an assessment panel, consulting as required with co-opted partner organisations.

Publicity for the Award possible publication of examples of best practice

Information on the Scheme and Awards that have been granted have a special section on this CC web-site.

Assessment Criteria

The assessment panel awarded points (maximum points are shown below) considering evidence in each application of the following key areas:

  • The importance of the health need being addressed – 20 points
  • Sound planning and implementation – 20 points
  • Evidence of the outcomes and sound evaluation process – 20 points
  • Usefulness of learning points which can be shared across WHO HIPP membership – 40 points

To gain an Award applicant prisons must:

  • First gain at least 50% of marks available in each key area
  • In competition be placed amongst the top 5 in a category, as agreed by the combined scores of the WHO judging panel

For more information, or if you have any questions regarding the Award, please contact Paul.Hayton@dh.gsi.gov.uk.

WHO Health in Prisons Project Best Practice Awards 2005

Category 1

Country Prison Title Size
Belgium Prison of Bruges Hepatitis C in Prison .pdf 67.3KB
Netherlands Het Veer FOBA – a psychiatric facility within the walls of a prison 51.6KB
Romania Targsor Penitentiary Healthy Woman 15.4KB
Scotland HMYOI Polmont Delivery of Healthcare Services 64.7KB
Spain Centro Penitenciario Fontcalent (Alicante) Coordination protocols between penitentiary health services and hospitals of reference (HIV and HCV infection) 60.1KB

Category 2

Country Prison Title Size
Belgium Huy prison and Service Education pour la Santé, A.S.B.L. (Health Education Service, a non profit company) HIV, hepatitis and others STI contamination risk prevention program among incarcerated persons French speaking Community of Belgium 61.8KB

All prisons in England and Wales Work developed and piloted in HMP's:

  • Rochester (YOI)
  • Maidstone (M Cat C)
  • East Sutton Park (F Resettlement) Elmley (M remand and Cat C & B)
Time for your Teeth 30.3KB
Netherlands Rentray (Juvenile Institution) Brains 4 Use; an addiction programme for youth in juvenile judicial institutions 48.2KB
Romania Penitentiary of Margineni “We are addicted to drugs: HELP US!” 57.7KB
Spain Prison of Pamplona 7 years of the Needle Exchange Program in the Prison of Pamplona 948.0KB

Category 3

Country Prison Title Size
Belgium Prison of Ruiselede The "Believe" program 40.8KB
England HMP Littlehey “A Holistic Approach to Men’s Sexual Health within HMP Littlehey.” 25.2KB
Netherlands Nationwide cooperation between Community Health Services and Correctional Institutions in The Netherlands Vaccination Hepatitis B behavioural risk groups in prisons. 60.0KB
Romania Re-educational Centre – Tg Ocna “Integrate Education Programme” 42.5KB
Spain El Dueso Prison Health Promotion and Environmental Education in El Dueso Prison Natural Surroundings: The Nacar Program. 282.0KB


WHO Health in Prisons Project Best Practice Awards 2007

Category 1

Country Prison Title Size (.pdf)
England HMP Full Sutton Delivering Quality Nurse Led Healthcare Services 71.0KB
Estonia Tartu HIV Prevention and Care in Tartu Prison 37.0KB
Netherlands Zeist Mobile Dental Treatment Room, Dental Car 42.0KB
Spain Tradu Madrid IV Psychosocial Intervention Program in the Management of prisoners with serious and chronic mental illness. 68.0KB

Category 2

Country Prison Title Size (.pdf)
Belgium Jamioulx Peer education in collaboration with NGO Modus Vivendi
England HMP YOI Swinfen Hall “Sound Health” – Creating a Healthy Living Centre and Health Trainer Scheme 44.0KB
Netherlands Maashegge Health Education and Information on STDs for Prisoners 36.0KB
Russia Tver Preventing the spread of socially significant diseases, reducing psychological tensions, and promoting social adaptation.
Spain Alcala Program of Tobacco Cessation for Inmates and Workers of a Prison 82.0KB

Category 3

Country Prison Title Size (.pdf)
Belgium Lantin The secured hospital ward for prisoners at the regional hospital centre "La Citadelle" in Liège, Belgium 36.0KB
England HMP Moorland Closed A quest for 'best practice' in prison sexual health/genito-urinary medicine. (updated)
Kazakhstan Almaty Project "Social Management", preparation of convicts for release. 50.0KB
Netherlands Nieuwerstluis Addiction care for female prisoners 31.0KB
Scotland HMP & I Cornton Vale A Positive Approach: Meeting the Health Needs of a Female Population

WHO Health in Prisons Project (WHO HIPP) Best Practice Awards 2009

Category 1

Country Prison Title Size (.pdf)
England HMP & YOI Low Newton The Primrose Dangerous & Severe Personality Disorder (DSPD) programme for female offenders 3,274 KB
Estonia Murru Prison Equality of care 83 KB
Netherlands Den Hey Acker at Breda STD Prevention and care in the juvenile institution Den Hey Acker at Breda 74 KB
Scotland HMYOI Polmont Provision of dedicated sexual health service 738 KB
Spain Centro Penitenciario El Dueso Visual impact on the history of HIV in prisons: reporting and raising awareness on the disease 679 KB

Category 2

Country Prison Title Size
England HMP Garth NHS Central Lancashire Prison Diary 173 KB
Kyrgyzstan Main Penalty Execution
Department of Ministry of Justice
Health Protection in Prisons of Kyrgyzstan 161 KB
Netherlands Heuvelrug Correctional Institution for
Young Offenders, Overberg location
Behavioural Scientist 79 KB
Spain Penitentiary Centre of Teruel Dulas, Virtual Health Agent 84 KB

Category 3

Country Prison Title Size
Belgium Andenne Prison STD prevention kit developed 75 KB
England HMP & YOI Low Newton Promoting equivalence of care for the women within HMP Low Newton in
relation to the Cervical Screening Programme
1,134 KB
Netherlands Headquarters DJI Guidelines Technical hygiene care for Correctional Institutions 650 KB
Spain Penitentiary Centres of Daroca and Zuera Workshop on healthy mental habits in prison
83 B

WHO Health in Prisons Project Best Practice Awards 2011

Category 1

An example of best practice regarding health care services provide to prisoners

Country Prison Title
England HMP Eastwood Park Provision of Primary Care on the Community Model within a High-Risk All Female Remand Prison Environment 135 KB
Estonia Harku and Murru Prison Gynaecological care in prison settings 120 KB
Georgia Prison #8 Methadone Treatment program in prison 197 KB
Ireland Mountjoy Prison Establishing a High Support Unit for Mentally Disordered Offenders and Vulnerable Prisoners in an Irish Sentenced Prison 208 KB
Netherlands PI Flevoland, location Almere Prison Health Care Team 130 KB
Romania National Administration of Penitentiaries HIV/AIDS prevention and care among IDUs in prison settings in Romania – Needle syringe programs 126 KB
Spain Centro Penitenciario de Málaga Implementation in a penitentiary of the “Comprehensive Care Program for Mental Patients in Prison” (PAIEM) 153 KB
Switzerland Champ-Dollon Improvement of measles immunity among migrant populations: lessons learned from a prevalence study in a Swiss prison 224 KB

Category 2

An example of best practice regarding any of the following, or a combination of the following: prevention, health education or health promotion services provided to prisoners.

Country Prison Title Size
England HMP High Down Healthcare Representatives 131 KB
Ireland Wheatfield, Cloverhill and Shelton Abbey Community Based Health and First Aid – Irish Red Cross Prisoner Volunteers 641 KB
Kyrgyzstan (English)
Kyrgyzstan (Russian)
Department of Penal Execution at the State Execution Service Providing support to people living with HIV in prisons 111 KB
103 KB
Scotland HMP and YOI Cornton Vale Improving the Nutrition of Prisoners 124 KB
Switzerland Champ-Dollon Needle and syringe exchange programs in correctional settings: feasible, safe and necessary! 138 KB

Category 3

An example of best practice which demonstrates effective co-operation between a prison and the outside community, in the area of health improvement

Country Prison Title Size
England HMP YOI Styal Gardens and Recycle – GOOP project 134 KB
Italy Casa di Reclusione Good information by bad people 112 KB
Moldova 9 prisons of Moldova 11 years of harm reduction in prisons of Moldova 156 KB
Netherlands PI Vught High standard, customized forensic mental healthcare for detained, psychiatrically disturbed, sex-offenders: innovative cooperation between a Dutch prison and a Forensic Psychiatric Center 158 KB
Spain Centro Penitenciario de Ceuta (Los Rosales) Multicultural Integration Program 139 KB