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Adult social care while in prison

If you have care needs and are currently in prison or other custodial settings in West Northamptonshire, you may qualify to receive care and support from us to meet your needs and/or to support your rehabilitation.

Check if we can offer support to you

We can offer support to you if you are:

  • aged 18 or over
  • detained in a prison or a custodial setting (such as bail hostels) in the West Northants Local Authority area (regardless of where you lived prior to be detained as per Section 76 of the Care Act)
  • detained in a young offender institution
  • have eligible social care needs following a Care Act assessment due to disability or a long-term illness

The Care Act eligibility criteria applies to prisoners and residents in approved premises.

For further information please refer to:

Understanding your needs 

To ensure we understand your current needs, we will complete a Care Act needs assessment. We will liaise with prison staff and other healthcare professionals where relevant. 

This assessment will help us to determine: 

  • what support you need
  • how this support can be provided
  • what support or equipment you currently have available

Someone to speak for you

If you find it hard to understand information, you can request for us to arrange for an independent advocate to support you during your assessment.

This is a free service. An independent advocate is a trained professional who can support you to ensure your voice is heard.

Paying for care

Under our current policy, people who are detained are not required to complete a financial assessment.

Planning your care

If you qualify to receive care from us, we will work with you to put together a care and support plan of how we will meet your care and support needs.

This will include:

  • what your assessed eligible needs are and how these are to be met
  • other support you receive to meet your needs
  • any specialist help or equipment you may need
  • outcomes you want to achieve to promote and maximise your independence

While you are in prison, you will have less choice about your care and support arrangements than someone outside of prison. For example, you will be unable to choose your accommodation (unless it is being arranged for after your release).

How to access this service 

If you think you need care and support, speak to the healthcare staff where you reside. They can make a referral to our adult social care team.

Leaving prison

If you’re being released from prison, it is important to tell us where you are going to live.

If you are moving to live permanently and for settled purposes in West Northamptonshire, we will:

  • arrange to re-assess your care and support needs to check if you still qualify for care and support from us, and to make sure your needs continue to be met appropriately
  • look at any services you can access within the local community

Living outside the area

We will inform the local council where you will be living about your current care and support needs.

They may undertake a review of your needs to ensure you are still eligible for care and support and your needs are met appropriately.

Any future needs will be subject to the Ordinary Residence Guidance.

Moving to a different prison

If you move to another prison outside of the West Northants Council area, your care and support will continue while your assessed needs remain unchanged.

We will advise the council in your new location about your needs and share relevant information with them. They may complete another needs assessment to make sure you still qualify, and to make sure you are getting the right care and support.


Your safety is the responsibility of the prison or approved premises where you are a resident. This means the local authority safeguarding enquiries duties under S.42 of the Care Act do not apply to a prisoner with care and support needs.

However, we can provide advice and information to prison officials if required.

Last updated 13 November 2023