A HEALTH care company looking after prisoners at the North-East’s top security prison has been given a warning after inspectors were called in following allegations by whistleblowers.

G4S Health Service (UK) Limited, which provides services at Frankland Prison, in Brasside, near Durham, has been issued with a warning notice following the inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The watchdog visited the high security prison over three days in May following allegations by whistleblowers around the quality of care being delivered to prisoners.

It has now published its findings, and says the service lacked leadership, was not learning from incidents and opportunities and had not carried out adequate assessments of risks to patient safety.

Concerns were also raised about arrangements for managing medicines and supervision arrangements of the staff team.

A series of seven whistleblower allegations had been made to the CQC between December 1, 2017 and March 17.

Inspectors said in a report: “Managers did not demonstrate they had the experience, capability and skills to deliver a high-quality and sustainable healthcare service.

“We observed that managers were not always visible to the nursing team. Close working between the head of healthcare and the clinical lead was not always apparent and they did not always work effectively with frontline staff to provide consistent leadership.

“Some staff were resistant to changes that the head of health care and clinical lead had tried to introduce.”

They also found the service was short staffed, with seven vacancies in the team, while there was sometimes delays in getting stock of medical supplies into the prison due to security arrangements.

Inspectors also found that patients were treated with kindness, respect and compassion, and they spoke positively about their contact with health care staff.

A spokesperson for G4S said the company had reviewed its governance to ensure there was increased scrutiny and was working with the CQC to resolve any issues.

Sue Clements, G4S Health Services North East Prisons, said: “G4S Health Services delivers quality healthcare in centres and establishments across the UK and inspectors found that our staff at HMP Frankland treat patients with kindness, respect and compassion.

“We take the concerns raised around recording and monitoring practices very seriously and have taken prompt actions to ensure that we are compliant with those requirements, including bringing in a new head of healthcare with over 20 years’ experience in the field and a strong track record of delivering quality healthcare in prisons.”

HMP Frankland, which is home to some of Britain’s most notorious prisoners, accommodates up to 844 men.