Prisons and Probation Ombudsman publishes first analysis of COVID-19 death investigations

Sue McAllister, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO), has published a ‘Learning Lessons Bulletin’ analysing investigations into 26 deaths related to COVID-19 in the early months of the pandemic.

First page of COVID-19 PPO Fatal Incident Investigations Bulletin - decorative purposes only

The PPO fatal incident investigations showed the care and compassion prisoners and family members received from prison and healthcare staff, Sue McAllister said. However, she added: “We have also found some cases where responses could be improved.”

The bulletin reports Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) should:

  • ensure all staff adhere to infection control measures;
  • give appropriate advice about shielding to all prisoners who are clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable
  • ensure there is an effective communication system to notify staff of prisoners who are shielding and/or self-isolating due to COVID-19
  • ensure that prisoners who are displaying possible COVID-19 symptoms are isolated to protect other prisoners and staff
  • ensure that staff use the correct PPE, in line with HMPPS policies and PHE guidelines


Click here to read the learning lessons bulletin: COVID-19 PPO Fatal Incident Investigations

Click here to read the full news release

Click here to read our latest learning lessons bulletin: COVID-19 PPO Complaints