Evaluation of Women’s Health Services for Perinatal Female Offenders in HMP Peterborough

Matthew Callender, Kathryn Cahalin, Valentina Lugli, Sarah Armstrong

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned Report


NHS England commissioned the Institute for Public Safety, Crime & Justice (IPSCJ) at the University of Northampton to review the effectiveness of healthcare services provided to women who have recently given birth or who are pregnant at HMP Peterborough. The scope of this project was to assess HMP Peterborough’s compliance with three of the ten elements of the Birth Companions Birth Charter . Birth Companions are a Charity that run services in women’s prisons across England and campaign to improve the care of women and babies who experience multiple disadvantage. The Birth Charter sets out recommendations for the care of perinatal women in prison and the three elements of interest in this review are: • Pregnant women in prison should have access to the same standard of antenatal care as women in the community; • Women in prison should be supported in their chosen method of feeding; and • All pregnant women and new mothers should be able to access counselling when needed. NHS England wanted to understand how the care offered to women at HMP Peterborough compared to that provided to women at HMP Low Newton. Although Low Newton does not have a Mother and Baby Unit (MBU), it is recognised as a site of best practice (HMPPS, 2018) as it has developed a perinatal mental health pathway and is the basis for a perinatal pathway which is currently being developed and applied across the entire Prison Estate.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNHS England
Commissioning bodyNHS England
Number of pages66
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Women's health
  • Perinatal
  • Female offenders
  • HMP Peterborough


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