Lead GP at NHFT elected as Chair of prestigious Royal College group responsible for national strategic clinical leadership in secure environments  | Latest updates

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Film crew with Angela Hillery

Lead GP at NHFT elected as Chair of prestigious Royal College group responsible for national strategic clinical leadership in secure environments 

Dr Caroline Watson

TeamNHFT’s Lead GP at Her Majesty Prison (HMP) Bedford, Dr Caroline Watson, has been elected as Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners Secure Environments Group from March 2022.  

With more than ten years’ experience of working as a GP in prison healthcare, Dr Caroline Watson works at HMP Bedford to oversee the medical care of prison residents. In 2014, Caroline established a multi-professional pain clinic in HMP Bedford the quality of which was recognised by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons, NHS England and Care Quality Commission. In 2019, she went on to lead a safer prescribing project at HMP Bedford, working with clinicians, prison colleagues, the prison education department and patients. This work was later presented at the RCGP Annual Conference 2019, recognising the success of the project and its contribution to reducing the risk to patients of drug-related death. 

Caroline’s frontline service to patients with TeamNHFT has been key to informing her national level contributions to prison healthcare, which have been recognised in the awarding of a Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and have resulted in her election as Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners Secure Environments Group. 

Caroline’s national contributions include a number of academic publications and contributions to clinical guidelines; creating a free-to-access repository of educational resources in her role as RCGP Clinical Champion for Healthcare in Secure Environments; strategic collaboration with stakeholders from Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, NHS England and NHS Improvement, UKHSA (formerly known as PHE); contributions to parliamentary select committee inquiries and provision of expert clinical input into research groups.  

In her prestigious role as Chair of RCGP SEG, Dr Caroline will head up a team providing strategic clinical leadership at national, regional, system and organisational levels and she will work with healthcare leaders in the areas of health and justice and health inequalities to steer and support health care delivery of the highest possible standards to people in contact with the criminal justice system, in secure and detained settings.

In addition to her new role, Caroline will continue with her clinical work in TeamNHFT and with several complementary roles and responsibilities beyond her clinical practice including advisory roles for the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Quality Network for Prison Mental Health Services, and for NHSEI Health and Justice, as a member of the Clinical Reference Group. 

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