Limiting the impact of COVID-19 in prisons

Amey employee standing in the centre of multiple porta cabins
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Amey delivers facilities and estate management services, including planned and reactive maintenance, cleaning and project management into 59 Prisons on behalf of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). 

We deliver these services across prisons in:

  • North East England
  • North West England
  • East and West Midlands
  • Wales

Project: Limiting the impact of COVID-19 in prisons


Timeframe: Ongoing (first temporary cells installed within two weeks of UK wide lockdown)


Coronavirus has affected all aspects of our lives and the Government has had to take unprecedented action during this challenging period to save lives and protect the NHS.

One of the significate challenges was to limit the transmission of the virus within the prison and save lives. This follows public health advice that prisons present a unique environment where rapid outbreaks of the virus could place a significant strain on local NHS services.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MOJ and HMPPS put a robust contingency plan in place to move towards single-cell accommodation, to limit the spread of infection and the number of cases across the prison estate in England and Wales.

Our response

Due to the fast-moving nature of the pandemic, we had to work at pace together with the MOJ, HMPPS and our supply chain to quickly put together a plan and identify a solution that could be rapidly mobilised to install temporary, single-occupancy cells within the existing secure, prison estate.

Bringing together all our expertise in managing projects within secure infrastructure, we worked with our supply chain partners PMA, Wulfrun, Anscomb, EllisonsAc, Network+, Princebuild Ltd and HSS Hire, to mobilise, install and safely commission temporary accommodation units across the identified establishments by the MOJ and HMPPS in readiness for prisoner occupancy.

The collaborative approach taken by the MOJ, HMPPS, Amey’s prison project and maintenance team and suppliers ensured that the first installation of 400 temporary cells took place within three weeks of the UK wide lockdown coming into effect.

Sites were chosen because they have the highest number of shared cells, lack in-cell sanitation and house high numbers of vulnerable prisoners. These include HMPs North Sea Camp, Littlehey, Hollesley Bay, Highpoint, Moorland, Lindholme and Coldingley.

The work carried out by Amey included installing electric, water, wastes supplies, undertaking groundwork and craning the temporary accommodation into place. Amey has also worked in partnership with local HMPPS prison teams to ensure that all the temporary cells are safe, clean and compliant.


  • 1,048 temporary cells have been allocated to 29 HMPPS sites across the UK
  • 896 temporary cells have been delivered at 26 of these sites
  • Rapid mobilisation and boots on the ground one day after MOJ gave the instruction
  • Five supply chain partners engaged and supported
  • COVID-19 impact reduced with actual cases lower than originally predicted

*Information correct as of 22 June 2020

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