HMP Durham healthcare team

Spectrum’s team in HMP Durham sprang into action in July, helping to save the lives of several prisoners when they responded to a serious drug-related emergency.

The Incident
In HMP Durham, prison officers were searching the prison and conducting cell-checks after suspicions had been raised about illegal drug use among some inmates. It quickly came to light that something was wrong. Finding one man unconscious and vomiting heavily in his sleep, they called emergency services – and one by one, more and more prisoners on D wing were found collapsed.

More than 25 members of Spectrum’s healthcare team were involved in the resulting emergency response. First, officers conducted a mass operation to bring the men out onto the prison landing, where our healthcare team began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on patients who were not breathing and provided critical support to others. As the team worked tirelessly to restart the heart of one patient, six ambulance crews arrived and five prisoners were transported to hospital in critical condition. A further 10 men were cared for on-site, and 13 more were also suspected of taking the illegal substance.

Jamie, Paramedic at Gilesgate Ambulance Service commented; “We’d like to give praise to the nurses who assisted us in the resuscitation; we successfully restarted the heart of one prisoner on site and this would not have been possible without them. They promptly started CPR and continued tirelessly until a pulse was regained. While I appreciate many may believe the staff have only ‘done their job’, they by far exceeded their duties.”