Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of all POA members.

Pay Award 2024/25

I can confirm that the 2024/25 PSPRB England and Wales report has now been submitted. A response to the recommendations and publication of the report will be a matter for Government after the election.


HMPPS have informed the NEC that they plan to impose upon Prison Officers working in Public Sector Prisons in England and Wales the requirement to carry and administer Naloxone. Your employer plans on forcing you to carry and administer a prescription drug because in their eyes it does not change your terms and conditions. 

The NEC are considering our response.

Capacity Pressures

HMPPS have confirmed they are considering the following:

We are undertaking scoping work to look at options to increase reception prison capacity, with a view to making decisions within the next month and implementing in the months following that. This is subject to change but current scoping is focused on:

    • The potential to re-role Holme House back to a reception function.
    • The potential to re-role Brixton back to a reception function.
    • Cancelling plans to re-role Liverpool into a resettlement prison, and instead looking at options to increase its reception cohort.

Pride of Britain Awards

POA committees are encouraged to consider the following:

The Daily Mirror's Pride of Britain Awards seeks nominations for awards for outstanding bravery, as well as fundraisers, children of courage and campaigners.  Winners will be honoured at a star-studded awards dinner in London in October, which is widely covered across national media and screened on ITV,

 Please let us know about anyone you would like to nominate -  fill out an online form here.  We will begin finalising the shortlist at the end of July.

Welfare Checks

It is apparent that many branches in public sector prisons in England and Wales have been conducting ‘welfare checks’ for some time with Senior Managers expecting staff to fill in an unofficial ‘welfare log’ or complete  ‘enhanced supervision logs.’ This process does not exist and never has. The NEC have had no formal consultations with HMPPS over introducing such a level of checks. Even if you have been adopting these checks for some time it does not constitute a task that is embedded in your roles and responsibilities. 

You should also note that no member of staff can be disciplined (despite SMTs threatening to do so) or investigated for dereliction of duty if they refuse to complete a welfare log. As long as staff satisfy their obligation and exercise their duty of care to a prisoner suspected of being under the influence, they have performed all expectations of them. Any prisoner suspected of being under the influence should be reported to Healthcare.

Some SMTs seem to think that by threatening staff with disciplinary action if they refuse to fill in a form or complete a check that has no National Policy and should not exist, POA members will have to complete them. This is what is known as bullying.

Employee Relations have already instructed all Governors to withdraw, with immediate effect, any unofficial logs that staff are expected to complete in reference to a welfare check, because that is a task that does not exist and is unprofiled work.

I would advise all POA members to consider the following: 

  • If a prisoner is suspected of being under the Influence of an unknown substance POA members should immediately contact healthcare for their assistance in clinically assessing the prisoner.
  • Under no circumstances should any POA member complete any unofficial form that relates to unofficial welfare checks.
  • For the avoidance of doubt no POA member is required to enter into the observation book or on Nomis every interaction with a prisoner who is deemed to be under the influence. Neither are they required to complete any type of welfare log.
  • One entry stating what the clinical professional has advised will suffice, unless you deem it serious enough to enter future submissions, at which point official processes such as opening an ACCT or summoning medical assistance are available options.
  • Any order to complete a welfare log is an unlawful order and to protect your position if you are ordered to do so you should immediately contact healthcare so they may clinically assess the prisoner and offer further advice.

I trust this clarifies the position of the POA.


All the best.

Mark Fairhurst
National Chair

Representing over 30,000 Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers, the POA is the largest UK Union in this sector, able to trace its roots back more than 100 years.