UK Health Security Agency would like to develop, with your help, a global network to exchange experience, expert advice and promote innovation in addressing health and healthcare inequalities facing people in prison. This network is developed in partnership with international agencies, including the WHO Europe: Health In Prisons Programme.

There is marked disparity in research capacity and outputs between countries across the world and the network aims to address this, aiming to ensure that the main beneficiaries of the network will be resource poor countries.

The worldwide prison health research & engagement network (WEPHREN) will provide:

  • A forum for all stakeholders interested in prison health to exchange ideas and to work together;
  • A forum for researchers to develop collaborative multi-centre research proposals;
  • A means of disseminating important research findings;
  • A platform for developing the skills of health professionals and researchers;
  • A vehicle to drive development of effective collaborative networks within and between countries
  • An opportunity for supported professional development of researchers, healthcare professionals and other collaborators;
  • An effective means of addressing inequities in research and professional development
  • Global leadership in prison research.

WEPHREN stakeholders and members

WEPHREN is funded by UK Health Security Agency.  

The key leads for WEPHREN in UK Health Security Agency are:

  • Dr Emma Plugge
  • Ian Palmer 
  • Memona Paracha

The work of WEPHREN is supported by a Steering Committee made up from elected experts in the field of prison health including members of the WHO Health in Prisons Programme Steering Group and elected members from outside of the WHO Europe Region. These experts in the field meet once a quarter to review the delivery plan for WEPHREN.

Members of the Steering Committee can be found here 

The Steering Committee Terms of Reference can be viewed here, and the appendix here.  

In order to deliver this network, a series of priority outcomes or deliverables were agreed for 2019-20. 

These priorities were:

1) Development and dissemination of high quality evidence for prison health and healthcare

2) Bringing together key stakeholders across professions, across disciplines and across nations

3) Facilitate the development of practitioner- and policy relevant research

4) Capacity building initiatives for health and health service delivery

If you have any comments on this then please contact: