A CORONER has warned that services at crisis-hit HMP Hewell require a “radical overhaul.”

Geraint Williams demanded action to prevent further deaths after an inquest into a prisoner who killed himself at HMP Hewell in Tardebigge.

Kelvin Speakman had a history of mental illness and self-harming and died from pneumonia and a hypoxic brain injury.

Mr Williams, coroner for the county, said: “During the course of this inquest, the evidence revealed matters giving rise to concern.

“In my opinion there is a risk that further deaths will occur unless action is taken.”

Mr Williams made the comments in a report sent to HMP Prison Service and HMP Hewell following the inquest into Mr Speakman's death in May 2016.

Mr Williams said communication between prison staff was either not consistent or documented leading to a conclusion that staff members making decisions about Mr Speakman “were not aware of the full picture of his presenting condition.”

The coroner also says that this is not the first inquest into a death at HMP Hewell where such criticisms have been made.

For most of the time Mr Speakman was in the prison, he was monitored under the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) Process, which plans care for prisoners identified as being at risk of suicide or self-harm, with certain actions to reduce the risk.

In the section of the letter describing matters of concern raised during the inquest, Mr Williams says: “The evidence in the case disclosed that the ACCT process was not handled completely in accordance with national and local policies and in particular the standard of documentation was often inadequate.”

A spokesman for HM Prison Service said: “Our condolences remain with the family and friends of Mr Speakman.

“HMP Hewell has improved its training for staff managing vulnerable offenders and a member of the senior team now reviews all of the ACCT cases on a daily basis. We have also recruited an extra 4,700 officers across the prison estate over the last two and a half years and introduced the key worker scheme which provides every prisoner with a dedicated officer for support.”