Bradley Report Group

Theresa Tainton

On 20th March the NECG were invited to the Royal College of Nurses to hear a review of the Bradley Report. Click here for more information.

The Bradley Report is a report and list of recommendations looking at the criminal system and how it looks after offenders with mental health and learning difficulties from early intervention and first contact with police through to prison discharge and resettlement.

Myself, Pete from Nottingham IF group and Sarah from CFE attended for the NECG and we heard first from Dame Glenys Stacey, HM Chief Inspector of Probation who talked about the Bradley Report and a HM Inspectorate of Report on prison discharge and community services for female offenders which was published in September 2016. Dame Stacey reported that all the various recommendations which have been made should be effective however due to issues, such as funding, the changes aren’t happening as quickly as the HM would like. At one point Dame Stacey praised a successful service for female offenders in Staffordshire but didn’t seem to be aware that as we sat in the meeting that service was having a closing event. I was quite confused about why this was the case and I wondered the reasons the service in Stoke-on-Trent was closing.

Following Dame Stacey, Dr Phillip Lee MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Victims, Youth and Family Justice, spoke about government priorities regarding the prison system and the mentally ill. On the whole Dr Lee MP seemed to think things were heading in the right direction but recognised the difficulties in mental health care receiving the same priority as physical health and reflected on the “inherited problems” of the previous Labour government creating difficulties. This was prior to the announcement of the forthcoming general election and what was said didn’t fill me with much hope that the government had a sense of what was required to improve the lives of those he was discussing.

Finally we heard from Andy Hunt, the National Programme Manager for the Liaison and Diversion And Sexual Assault Services Strategy in NHS England. Mr Hunt gave some promising examples from various areas of the country, including Greater Manchester, where peer support has been used successfully and mentioned areas of research which are taking place looking at how peer support and service users can be used to improve facilities and programmes for all concerned.

From the three speakers it was only the last talk which gave any hope for the future and it was interesting hearing the difference between the approaches being taken from Probation, the Government and the NHS.

Since attending this event, I’ve mentioned the Bradley Report to various people who work with offenders and not one has heard of it. While everything on the report makes a lot of sense, I find it disappointing that since it was published in 2009 not much, if any, progress has been made.