Procedures to monitor prisoners with long-term illnesses have been changed at a Suffolk jail following the death of a prisoner, an inquest heard on Friday.
Staff carrying out a morning roll call at HMP Highpoint at Stradishall, near Haverhill failed to ensure there was a response from Joseph Bone on August 11 last year.
The inquest at Bury St Edmunds heard how another prisoner sent to find out why he had not collected his lunch later found Mr Bone, 44, dead in bed in his cell.
Mr Bone, who had been serving a 14 month sentence, had possibly been thought to be having a weekend lie-in according to a statement from one member of staff, said Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean.
Following the death of Mr Bone, who suffered from heart problems, diabetes and had mental health issues, prison management have issued new orders thata response must be received from each inmate when a roll call is conducted, the inquest heard.
In addition, Richard Lombardo, head of operations at HMP Highpoint, told the hearing that in the event of no response being obtained, staff were under instructions to immediately call for an ambulance rather that summon the prison’s own medical staff.
Mr Lombardo said: “It could be life saving.”
Coroner Dr Dean said that even if the new rules had been in operation at the time it would not have prevented the death of Mr Bone but could help others in the future.
A post mortem examination showed that Mr Bone died from a heart attack xacerbated by diabetes. All three main arteries were “severely” blocked.
Dr Dean recorded a conclusion of death by natural causes.