This chapter was last reviewed and/or updated April 2021.
Section 76 of the Care Act 2014 provides clarity in law on local authorities’ responsibilities in relation to the care and support needs of adults residing in custodial settings. The term ‘custodial setting’ refers to prisons, approved premises such as bail accommodation, and where young adults, over 18 years, are residing in secure accommodation.
All adults in custody, as well as offenders and defendants in the community, should expect the same level of care and support as the rest of the population. This principle of ‘equivalence of care’ forms the basis of the policy intent for the Care Act and the Care and Support Statutory Guidance. This is crucial in ensuring that those in need of care and support achieve the outcomes that matter to them, and that will support them to live as independently as possible at the end of their detention. In addition to ensuring that individual needs are met, this will contribute to the effectiveness of rehabilitation and improve community safety.
This means people in prisons should expect the same from local authorities in relation to:
- access to information, advice and support to prevent or delay the development of care and support needs;
- access to Needs Assessment and use of advocacy to support people to engage fully in the assessment process. The Care and Support in Prisons leaflet provides further information about how to request an assessment when in prison or approved premises;
- effective integrated working to manage complex needs, ensuring the most appropriately skilled professionals contribute to the assessment;
- where eligible needs exist, access to a care and support plan including services to meet eligible needs delivered through a personal budget;
- choice and control should be promoted as far as possible within the constraints of the custodial setting;
- portability of assessments where people are receiving services at the point of sentence, release or transfer to another custodial setting.
Full guidance on local authorities’ responsibilities towards prisoners can be found in Chapter 17, Prisons Approved Premises and Bail Accommodation, Care and Support Statutory Guidance.
2. Key Points
Ordinary Residence: Anyone residing in a custodial setting in Lincolnshire is regarded as ordinarily resident in the county, irrespective of where they resided prior to their sentence or where they intend to live following release.
- Eligible care and support needs will be met by Lincolnshire Adult Care whilst the person is residing here.
- Following release, Ordinary Residence and responsibility of provision of services will then transfer to the local authority area in which the person will reside following release.
- In situations where an offender is likely to have needs for care and support services on release from prison or approved premises, and their place of ordinary residence is unclear or they express an intention to settle in a new local authority area, the local authority to which they plan to move should take responsibility for carrying out the needs assessment.
Eligibility: The threshold for the provision of care and support does not change in custodial settings and will be the same as described in Eligibility, in the Assessment chapter. When an individual is in a custodial setting, this should not in any way affect the assessment and recording of eligible needs. Whilst the setting in which the care and support will be provided is likely to be different from community or other settings, and this should be taken into account when considering how to meet the need for care and support as part of the care planning process, the extent and nature of need should be identified before taking into account the environment in which the individual lives. This is particularly important when individuals move between prisons or from prison into the community.
Personal budgets: Prisoners will receive personal budgets based on notional costs of support delivered by Adult Care funded services within the prison setting.
Charging: The Act states that prisoners will be financially assessed and charged for their services in line with the Adult Care Charging Policy.
Equipment in prisons: the Care and Support Statutory Guidance states:
For those assessed as being in need of equipment or adaptations to their living accommodation to meet their needs, local authorities should make it clear to individuals that the custodial regime may limit the range of care options available and some, such as direct payments, do not apply in a custodial setting. Where an individual’s ability to exercise choice and control is limited by the custodial regime, authorities should discuss with their partners in prisons, approved premises and health care services where responsibility lies. Where this relates to fixtures and fittings (for example, a grab rail or a ramp), it will usually be for the prison to deliver this. But for specialised and moveable items such as beds and hoists, then it may be the local authority that is responsible. Aids for individuals, as defined in the Care and Support (Preventing Needs for Care and Support) Regulations 2014, are the responsibility of the local authority, whilst more significant adaptations would the responsibility of the custodial establishment. Further guidance on responsibility of custodial services for equipment aids and adaptations will be issued by NOMS. Custody services, healthcare providers and local authorities should agree local responsibilities.
2.1 Limitations and exemptions
- People residing in prisons or custodial settings are not entitled to have their personal budget delivered as a direct payment. There is an exception for people in bail accommodation who have not been convicted, where entitlement exists subject to the local authority’s agreement that the direct payment is the appropriate way to meet the outcomes identified.
- The right to a choice of accommodation does not apply to those in a custodial setting except when a person is preparing for release or resettlement in the community. Release to an approved premises amounts to moving from one custodial setting to another.
3. Delivering Section 76 of the Care Act in Lincolnshire
The duties introduced by section 76 require ongoing development of partnership working and assessment and care management procedures. Procedures will therefore be developed in future editions of this Adult Care website.
Lincolnshire has two prisons:
- HMP Lincoln, which is a Category B men’s prison with an operational capacity of 738;
- HMP North Sea Camp, Boston which is a Category D men’s open prison with an operational capacity of 420.
Lincolnshire also has:
- one approved premise, Wordsworth House, Lincoln, which is an 18 bed men’s unit, run by the Lincolnshire Probation Service and primarily used for Lincolnshire residents;
- one 12 bed secure children’s unit, which has the potential to retain some young people (both male and female) beyond the age of 18.
The Section 76 duties do not extend to the Immigration Removal Centre at the former HMP Morton Hall, which is run by the Prison Service on behalf of the UK Border Agency.
The Adult Care Prisons Team will be responsible for coordinating assessment and care and support planning, and developing the partnerships and service delivery models through a dedicated Principal Practitioner.
Lincolnshire Action Trust working within the prison premises will undertake screening of all new prisoners (Reception Keep Safe Interview) or review existing prisoners with potential care and support needs and request an assessment directly through the Adult Care Prisons Team.
Assessments will be undertaken by the prisons’ Principal Practitioner or Community Care Officer, involving colleagues from the relevant area team as appropriate where assessment or planning is required to facilitate release into their area.
Occupational therapy input will be delivered through nominated OTs with prison clearance.
All assessment and care and support planning activity will be carried out to mirror that recorded in client information systems for any other customer.
Any enquiries or advice related to working with offenders should be directed to the Principal Practitioner, Adult Care Prisons Team. All referrals must be made via Customer Service Centre.
The Adult Care Prison Team can be contacted by email: AdultCarePrisons@lincolnshire.gov.uk.