On behalf of the National Executive Council I am pleased to inform you of the roll out of the Health Screening Programme for all staff commences on 6th March 2014 in Limerick Prison.
This initiative arose from a motion adopted at Annual Conference and despite current budgetary constraints we have managed to obtain such a programme at a significantly reduced cost to Staff. The selected provider is CPL Occupational Healthcare who will carry out all Health Screenings on site in your Prison.
The schedule for the roll out is as follows:
· Limerick – 6th, 7th, 10th March
· Cork – 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th March
· Dochas – 24th, 31st March
· Mountjoy, St.Patricks, Training Unit – 25th, 26th, 27th March, 1st, 2nd, 3rd April
· Cloverhill/Wheatfield – 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th April
With regard to the locations above your local Governor and Branch Committee have been appraised on the logistics and operational requirements for the smooth roll out in your institution with all appointments to be made through your local detail office. Time slots will accommodate all shift patterns, including early morning starts. Online questionnaire is to be completed in advance of your appointment (hard copies available on the day if necessary). Each health screening will be 20 minutes in duration and no fasting is required. All screenings will be carried out by a team of experienced nurses. A detailed report will be issued to you within two weeks (electronically or by post if necessary). All personal information will be kept strictly private, confidential between you and CPL Healthcare and stored in accordance with Data Protection legislation. Only generic statistical reports will be made available to IPS.
CPL Healthcare have advised and confirmed the following:
The screening will provide each candidate with their critical numbers which are indicators into their overall health and well being. These indicators highlights the risks of developing diseases such as cardiovascular (heart disease) and type 2 diabetes.
The screening will include the following tests:
blood pressure, body mass index, urinalysis and a full blood screen.
Some of the main blood tests included in the screen are:
Liver function test
This range of tests assesses the functions of the liver. In many cases abnormal levels are due to transient illnesses, medications and/or alcohol consumption. If abnormal levels persist further testing can be done to identify possible causes.
Lipids are fats that are present in the bloodstream. They can be ingested in the diet and are also manufactured by the liver. Lipid profiles are checked to assess Cardiovascular Risk (risk of heart attack, stroke etc.). Total Cholesterol, LDL and Triglycerides are considered harmful fats and levels should be kept below target values. HDL Cholesterol is considered a good fat and levels should be kept above target values. Elevated cholesterol may be due to a number of factors including diet, family history, other medical conditions, medications etc. If your cholesterol levels are elevated your doctor can do some routine tests to outrule secondary causes. Diet and lifestyle modification can improve cholesterol levels and in some cases cholesterol lowering medication may be required.
This test determines if your blood glucose level is within a normal range. Blood glucose levels can be used to test for Diabetes Mellitus and pre-diabetes. In most cases 2 separate blood samples with elevated glucose levels (or a single elevated blood glucose in addition to an elevated HbA1c) are required to make a diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes. Blood glucose levels may also be elevated due to medications or secondary to other medical conditions and further tests may be necessary.
Full Blood Count (FBC)
The Full Blood Count is one of the most common tests performed in laboratory medicine as it allows for an assessment of the quantity and quality of Red Cells, White Cells and Platelets, vital blood components which are made in the bone marrow.
Haemoglobin (Hb) is contained within red cells and carries oxygen from the lungs throughout the body. Anaemia or a low Hb concentration is quite common in General Practice. Anaemia has many causes including nutritional deficiencies, inherited Hb variants such as sickle cell disease and rarer primary blood disorders. A combination of haematology and biochemistry tests can usually reveal the underlying cause of a newly detected anaemia. An inappropriately raised Hb is relatively rare but can be due to medications, hormonal imbalance or primary blood disorders.
There are several types of white cell, the most common being neutrophils which protect us against bacterial infection. Raised or lowered levels of these various types of white cells can clarify the severity of an infection. Equally, primary haematological diseases such as chronic lymphoproliferative disorders are often first detected on routine FBC screening in an older population.
Platelets, in conjunction with clotting factors, protect us against bleeding when blood vessels are cut open. Platelets can be low due to lack of production or increased clearance from the bloodstream.
If the FBC reveals reduced or elevated numbers of a particular cell type, a blood film is made. This is a smear of blood on a glass slide which is examined under a light microscope. Such an examination provides useful information about the appearance of the cells and whether referral to a haematologist is require.
Following the health screening each candidates results will be reviewed by CPL Health Check team of Doctors and following this review the candidate will receive a traffic light system report which is colour coded for easy interpretation.
This will then be followed on by a phone call from one of our Occupational Health Advisors to discuss any abnormal results and the appropriate action to be taken.
Operation support group and PSEC staff are requested to liaise with their local prison details office regarding their application form and the scheduling of appointments. Site visits for other institutions will follow over the following weeks. You will be notified well in advance of the relevant dates for your Institution. The cost of the plan for each participant is 40 euros which will be deducted at source over four paycheques.
Application forms for those wishing to participate will be available from your Detail Office.
Should you require any further assistance please contact your local Branch Committee.
On behalf of the Prison Officer’s Association