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Hello, I'm Nicola Seanor, Lead for Health and Justice Commissioning Support in the North of England. In June I spent time in Spain to learn about the prison health system there as part of the Hope European Exchange Programme

The aim of the programme was to promote exchange of knowledge and expertise within the European Union and to provide training and experience for hospital and healthcare professionals.

I took part in the month long exchange programme hosted by the NHS Leadership Academy with other healthcare partners in Europe where they could exchange models, practice, lessons learnt and expertise. 

My areas of interest were:

  • Exploring models of healthcare delivery within criminal justice in Spain
  • How the patient voice is incorporated into the commissioning cycle (particularly the ‘vulnerable’ patient such as an offender in a prison setting)
  • What does the commissioning framework look like within their criminal justice/health systems e.g. commissioners, providers, commissioning support, provider, stakeholders within criminal justice, Governors etc.
  • Benchmarking the Spanish ‘patient engagement’ system within health and justice against the NHS England approach to patient engagement

All of the findings from the 4/5 weeks culminated in a presentation based on the ‘patient voice’ to the AGORA conference in Stockholm in June

In Spain healthcare workers are particularly renowned for their work on health promotion within the offender population, their blood borne virus programmes and their best practice model around the approach to secure settings (criminal justice and mental health) for children and young people.

This project provided the opportunity to improve outcomes for vulnerable patients presenting the prospect to  see ‘best practice’ and ‘lessons learnt’.  There was an opportunity to understand a European perspective on ‘how to work with vulnerable service users’ 

I visited a range of stakeholders in various healthcare settings, as guided by Hope Programme Coordinators and The Worldwide Prison Health Research & Engagement Network (WEPHREN).

Plans included time spent with several secondary care facilities – hospitals in Vitoria and Barcelona, visiting some children and young people secure criminal justice settings (focusing on mental health need) and meetings with the Spanish equivalent of the ministry of justice where I  engaged with clinical specialists around the healthcare of geriatric prisoners, and other areas including ‘health promotion in prisons’ and ‘collaboration between health and justice stakeholders’.

Watch my 4-part vlog series here, where I share my thoughts and experiences. If you have any questions or comments from me, you can either comment below, email me on or tweet me on @nicolaseanor

Hope you enjoy the series!



Episode 1


Episode 2


Episode 3


Episode 4




  • sunitasturuptoft Sunita Sturup-Toft 18 May 2018

    Nicola, great first episode. Really interesting to hear about your experience and nice to see Jose with you too! There is so much to learn from comparing systems and approaches. Keep us posted on your travels :-)

  • acheampongkofi13 LAWRENCE K.ACHEAMPONG 25 May 2018

    Nice one Nicola,
    Really enjoyed and learnt a lot from the video.will definitely watch the other episodes before making my final submission

  • sunitasturuptoft Sunita Sturup-Toft 6 Jun 2018

    Love the idea of a "resettlement nurse". Do you think people in the prisons in Spain are more likely to go their "local prison" rather than huge geographical movement across the country? Wondered if this might have an impact on an resettlement programme.

    Great episode, look forward to the next one!

  • sunitasturuptoft Sunita Sturup-Toft 14 Jun 2018

    Thanks so much for this vlog series Nicola, informative and engaging.

  • robertmoore Robert Moore 18 Jun 2018

    Great series Nicola. As someone who did the HOPE programme in Finland in 2000 - it is a great opportunity to see how our European colleagues approach certain health issues - my interest then was telemedicine. Now, I am having input into Prison Healthcare. I like the idea of a writen contract between the clinician and the persohn receiving the is more than just permission to share information, more than consent...its about is wider than interventions. It is also interesting to see how telemedicine is embedded into 'business as usual' linking the acute hospital to the prisons - as part of the one system.