A SKIPTON nurse has been appointed to the new post of director of nursing and quality for Practice Plus Group’s Health in Justice division, which serves patients in 47 prisons.

Maggie Wood, a registered nurse with a Masters in applied research, has worked within health and justice for 20 years, delivering and developing health and wellbeing services to meet the needs of those in contact with the justice system.

Working initially within police custody developing the role of forensic custody nurses, she progressed to a national governance role before transferring to work in prison healthcare and has worked within several young offender institutes and prisons.

Within the sector, Ms Wood has also been a quality lead for the NHS England Health & Justice team and clinical lead and independent professional nurse advisor for the Death in Custody Review Service for prisons in the North.

Now she leads around 850 nurses, supporting overseeing the development of service integration and the drive for nursing excellence. Asked why she is excited with her new role she said: “ Nursing in Health and Justice is both challenging and uniquely rewarding. Many of our patients may not have received or accessed support to manage their health and wellbeing needs. Care and support provided can impact not only on them individually, but also on their families and from a social value perspective can support individuals to make real changes to their lives that help reduce the risk of reoffending.

“Nursing within prisons is varied and complex and offers the opportunity to use a wide range of nursing and advanced nursing skills. We work alongside allied healthcare professionals and prison colleagues to deliver care in innovative ways for people within the confines of a secure environment. The coronavirus saw nurses spending time delivering care on the wings and in some prisons this has increased healthcare visibility and accessibility and impacted positively on patient experience and care – an additional bonus to an already rewarding job.”