The Royal College of GPs has published a position statement that sets out how 'equivalence of care' between secure and non-secure settings should be defined.
According to the College's Secure Environments Group, people in prison should be 'afforded provision of or access to appropriate services or treatment,' which are 'at least consistent in range and quality with that available to the wider community'.
The position is clear that 'equivalence' does not mean that care provision in secure environments should be 'the same' as that provided in the community.
It draws evidence from a variety of national and international health organisations, and attains to the principles that prison health is public health, and that those living in secure environments have the right to an equitable standard of healthcare.
The full definition is: 'Equivalence' is the principle by which the statutory, strategic and ethical objectives are met by the health and justice organisations (with responsibility for commissioning and delivering services within a secure setting) with the aim of ensuring that people detained in secure environments are afforded provision of or access to appropriate services or treatment (based on assessed need and in line with current national or evidence-based guidelines) and that this is considered to be at least consistent in range and quality (availability, accessibility and acceptability) with that available to the wider community in order to achieve equitable health outcomes.