POA Circulars

90 | 12.11.2015


On the 30th October 2015 NOMS published the above on the intranet and this now forms policy and has mandatory instructions within. The NEC determined to make local officials and members aware of this policy to ensure all prisons and workplaces affected are fully compliant. If your Governor or Head of Group has not fully implemented the provisions of the PSI a draft SFC is attached at Annex A for you to use/amend as necessary.

A number of key areas have been lifted from the PSI which requires management to address as a matter of urgency to protect the health and wellbeing of staff, prisoners and visitors.

The Executive urge all local committees to raise the content of the policy with management and demand that all mandatory instructions are in place immediately.

The Executive remind all members that these are not mandatory but voluntary unpaid posts.

It is vital that necessary resources are put in place to provide the required number of first aiders on duty at all times, to ensure daily checks and inspections are carried out and that local risk assessments meet the needs of the workplace.

If sufficient numbers of volunteers are not forthcoming and/or the policy cannot be implemented in full, local disputes must be registered using the draft SFC at Annex A attached.

NOMS has a legal duty to make arrangements to ensure that employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill while at work, alongside prisoners and other visitors.

The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 set out the essential aspects of first aid that employers have to address. These regulations apply to all workplaces, including those with fewer than five employees and there is no exemption for NOMS premises.

All Health and Safety Advisors must ensure they are familiar with the detail of the regulations in order to competently conduct a local first aid needs assessment.

Mandatory actions contained in the PSI

All management and all employees must ensure that they are aware of these mandatory actions and ensure this policy is implemented and adhered to.

Risk assessment (see Annex A of the PSI)

Governing Governors/Heads of Groups must ensure that at all times such numbers of suitably trained first aiders as is sufficient and appropriate for the circumstances, are available to provide first aid to employees, prisoners/offenders and other visitors if they should become ill or injured while at work, or on NOMS premises.

Training (Annex B of the PSI)

NOMS Learning and Development Commissioning of contracts must ensure that all first aid training available includes elements of bespoke training relevant to the particular first aid situations likely to arise in NOMS (self-harm, cut downs, bleeding).

Trained first aiders must hold an up to date, valid certificate of competence in either First Aid at Work (FAW) or Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW):

NOMS in-house trainers must be trained and currently certificated as competent First Aid trainers.

Minimum provision of trained first aiders

The aim of first aid is to reduce the effects of injury or illness suffered at work, whether caused by the work itself or not.

First-aid provision must be ‘adequate and appropriate in the circumstances’.

In the prison operational environment, the following levels of first aid staffing cover must be adhered to as a minimum, at all times of the day and night:

At least one FAW trained staff member and sufficient numbers of EFAWs to provide emergency first aid to staff, prisoners and others, including visitors (the number will be determined by the local first aid risk assessment).

First Aider role and maintaining and checking first aid equipment and facilities

In NOMS, the role of First Aider is voluntary.

Duty First Aiders must check first aid equipment and facilities on every shift (in prisons and managers of approved premises).

Designating a First Aid Coordinator

Governing Governors must ensure that a First Aid Coordinator is designated in every establishment.

The Coordinator must maintain an up to date record of first aid trained personnel, ensure In Vision (in prison operational environments only) is kept up to date with trained personnel & certification expiry dates, and organise suitable training for first aiders (in accordance with a properly conducted first aid risk assessment) which maximises efficiencies.

Carrying radios (prison operational environments only)

Governing Governors must ensure that in operational environments all duty First Aiders carry a radio at all times and that only nationally agreed radio call signs are used as set out in PSI 3/2013. (This abstract should refer to Medical emergency response codes Red and Blue).

Please draw the contents of this circular to your members, raise the issues with your local SMT and demand that the policy be implemented immediately. (Please see copy of letter to the CEO of NOMS Michael Spurr at Annex B attached)

As a result of these mandatory instructions all, safe systems of work, risk assessments and contingency plans must be reviewed and amended to reflect this change in policy.

Thanking you in anticipation of your support and co-operation.

Yours sincerely


General Secretary

Attachment for First Aid PSI 29-2015.docx

docx, 15.8K, 12/11/15, 90 downloads

POA Circular 90-2015 - First Aid PSI 29-2015.pdf

pdf, 106.2K, 12/11/15, 75 downloads