"My son wanting to reduce his Methadone while in prison"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Addiction services (community)

(as a carer),

My son was given a custodial sentence in HM Prison Nottingham for theft. His drug addiction was driving his criminal behaviour. Once in prison he decided to use the stay there as an opportunity to reduce his methadone dosage to zero at a point in time to coincide with 6 weeks to go before his release. That would mean on leaving prison he would have been methadone free for 6 weeks. This was important to him so that he was fighting fit for the challenge of turning his life around.

In order to implement this plan he needed an appointment with the prison doctor to set a reduction rate. The delay in being seen by the doctor has now made implementation of this strategy impossible because so much time (5 weeks) has been lost.

I feel a missed opportunity has occurred because of failure to give priority to the situation. The effect this has had is to demotivate him and reduced his chance of making the change he needs to on this occasion. He feels he has been willing to take the pain of reducing methadone to zero and feels he has been let down by the system.

I want know why this has happened. I would hope that in these circumstance the services would see it as a priority to support someone who is clearly making all the right effort.

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Response from Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

Thank you for highlighting this. I am very surprised to hear that this has happened and am sorry that your son’s recovery plan has not been possible. We try to ensure that all the health needs of prisoners are met and I am keen to understand why this didn’t happen in your son’s case.

If you would like to contact me to discuss this further, I can begin an investigation to ensure that we improve our service.

Please contact me :

Matthew Mitchell

East Midlands Area Manager

Offender Health

Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust

Tel: 0115 9691300


Response from Involvement Team , Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Posted on behalf of Matt Mitchell

East England Area Manager

Update to the posting above:

I met with the patient and he was upset that there had been a delay but was happy that his treatment had commenced and his care was satisfactory. Feedback is helpful to us to improve our services and in this particular instance the health of an individual. We want to ensure we are responsive to the needs of patients needing specialist services at a time of greatest need.