Janine White: Health and Wellbeing Practice Nurse, HMP Oakwood

Janine White: Health and Wellbeing Practice Nurse, HMP Oakwood

Registered nurse Janine has a busy life. As well as being a mother of two young sons, she is responsible for the wellbeing of patients with long-term medical conditions in one of the country’s busiest prisons.

She explains: “Across the prison estate there are increasing numbers of older prisoners – and here at HMP Oakwood that is certainly the case. As a result, we are seeing more patients with conditions such as high blood pressure and respiratory issues, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

“Whatever our patients have done in the past, they still deserve to have the same levels of healthcare we all expect; it is a fundamental humanitarian right. What you learn working in prisons is that, sadly, some people almost inevitably end up in the justice system because of what happened to them from birth, or even before: some people are just not fortunate to have a choice what path they may take.”

Janine, who is responsible for monitoring as well as treating, speaks not only from compassion but also from experience, having managed a care home for children with behavioural issues and also having nursed in a secure unit for young offenders, many with eating disorders and emotional issues.

Janine has been impressed with Practice Plus Group’s commitment to staff training and development: “There are many excellent courses that you can attend that benefit even the most experienced of nurses. I am hoping to take my prescriber qualifications soon and I hope to work towards becoming a Nurse Practitioner.

“I also enjoy the work because I feel supported by the Health in Justice managers and I respect the way they allow us to use our initiative and experience. They trust in the training and this allows us to make sure regular health checks are much, much more than just a box ticking exercise.

“The job also allows me to get lots of family time, making it ideal with a young family. I have had a wonderful and varied career but now I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

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