Clinical placements for university and apprenticeship students
As the UK’s leading provider of health services in prisons and youth offender establishments, Practice Plus Group is proud to offer both university and apprenticeship students the opportunity to gain work experience in an extensive range of clinical areas. These include:
- Primary care
- Substance misuse
- Mental health
- Occupational therapy
Join us for a placement at one of our prisons by completing our application form and emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or read on to discover more about what prison placements have to offer.
Frequently asked questions (click to expand)
Why choose a placement in prison?
If you’re passionate about equal healthcare, regardless of a patient’s history or their environment, then a prison placement is for you.
You will have the opportunity to help patients in prison – a socially excluded group with traditionally very poor outcomes – to access health and wellbeing services that can influence their future life choices and potentially bring about lasting change.
Prison placements provide a unique insight into working in healthcare. The nature of the prison environment and its population means that clinical judgement and rapid accurate assessments are a part of the day to day job.
The healthcare teams in prison mirror those in the wider community, such as hospitals and GP services, and we strive to offer equivalence of care. Yet it is the complex patient group and prison environment which makes for a rich learning experience.
So if you’d like to develop your skills, whilst helping vulnerable patients when they need it most, then please get in touch.
What types of placements do you offer?
We offer a range of prison placements, including clinical, non-clinical and apprenticeship placements.
Our clinical placements include nursing, physiotherapy, GP and occupational health.
The types of placements available will vary site by site. This is because each prison delivers a specialised combination of healthcare services that cater to the needs of the specific prison population. We work with a range of partners and subcontracted services and welcome enquiries from other allied health professionals. If we are unable to support the placement you require ourselves, we may be able to signpost you to those who can.
Get in touch by emailing email@example.com and we can let you know which placements are available at your preferred prison.
What will I do during a prison placement?
The great thing about working in a prison is that no two days are the same.
Typically, most healthcare teams in prison will start the day with ensuring that patients receive their medication. Some people can have these medications in their possession like in the community but others need to have them supervised. Once this is complete, healthcare based clinics usually begin. These clinics may include: sexual health, long term condition reviews, wound clinics, pain management reviews, mental health reviews, GP clinics, substance misuse clinics and more.
You’ll also have the chance to take part in multi-disciplinary team meetings, and you may even get to experience responding to ‘code red’ or ‘code blue’ calls – our healthcare emergency response service for urgent situations within the prison.
Our healthcare teams will be there to support you throughout your placement, making sure you feel comfortable, safe and secure every step of the way.
Where do you offer prison placements?
We offer placements at a number of prisons across the country – we’re certain there’ll be a prison near you. Check out our prison map.
How can I get a prison placement?
Our prison placements are certainly not about making the teas and coffees! Our prison teams make sure you experience the real job, giving you a real insight into prison healthcare and the unique career path it can offer.
Our students have gained life-long skills and in many cases, permanent work. Read some of their stories below and discover how a clinical placement in prison could be the stepping stone to your career:
Poppy’s journey: Student to mental health nurse at HMP Wayland
“My three-month placement provided me with the opportunity to not only shadow the mental health team but the wider healthcare team, from drug and alcohol services, psychological services, emergency response and medicine management. Throughout my student placement I was very well supported by management and they put their trust in me to start practicing, where safe, autonomously. I was able to build up my confidence both academically and in practice. This placement was my realisation placement; where I discovered that the custodial setting was for me.
“After qualifying at university, I joined HMP Wayland as a paid support worker and began practicing as a band 4 whilst awaiting my pin. The transition to band 5 was made very easy by support of HR and management. I was given lots of support from my clinical lead and colleagues when settling into the role; it was made easier by already having a good working relationship with my colleagues from being a student.
“I have been given so many opportunities to progress in my role with training courses and online learning modules. Within 18 months of qualifying, I have been successful in both a band 6 senior mental health nurse position and most recently, a band 7 mental health clinical lead.
“My personal reasons for working in this setting is that I love the autonomy and independence to manage my own caseload but still have my colleagues and team support around me. We manage our own caseload from mild mental health concerns to acute and enduring. I have been involved and lead successful hospital transfers from prison to secure mental health hospitals, as well as working very closely with our psychiatrist. Here at HMP Wayland, we have a very good relationship between mental health and primary healthcare, – working as a team to provide a holistic approach to person-centred care.
“An open-minded approach is required in this role as despite the patients you work with being in the custody setting, it is one big community and our patients are human. The care we provide in the custody setting should be and is a reflection of the services available in the community.
“Words will never be enough to describe my love and passion for my role as a mental health nurse at HMP Wayland and I could not recommend a nursing career in Health in Justice enough.”
Interested? Get in touch.
For more information about our types of prison healthcare services, click here. We are also pleased to offer non-clinical and apprenticeship placements.
I would like to say a huge thank you for organising the ‘spoke’ placement day for me at HMP Bure. I enjoyed meeting the team and really appreciated the opportunity to learn about healthcare in the justice sector. It was a great experience for me and I am sure that it would be for other TNA’s as well.Nellie
TNA from the James Paget Hospital
Download the student placement application form