Forsyth County Considers Change In Jail's Health Care Provider

Forsyth County Considers Change In Jail's Health Care Provider

4:43pm Apr 30, 2021
The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners discuss agenda items during an April meeting, including a committee recommendation to contract with NaphCare to provide medical services at the detention center. Screenshot: KERI BROWN/WFDD

Forsyth County commissioners are considering a proposal to hire a new medical provider for inmates at the county detention center.

Local activists have been calling for change following the death of John Neville. Five detention officers and one on-duty nurse were charged with involuntary manslaughter last year after the December 2019 death of Neville, who was detained at the jail.

Activists want the county to cut ties with the facility’s current health care provider, Wellpath.

After a bidding process, county leaders are recommending awarding a multi-million dollar contract to NaphCare. The company provided services for the Winston-Salem facility from 2004 to 2009.   

Officials say NaphCare’s proposal would bring more credentialed staff such as registered nurses to the facility. County manager Dudley Watts says it would also provide more mental health services.

"It is a bit more expensive than it has been in the past. It does elevate the quality of care I think in some important ways and so NaphCare is a corporation that knows our facility and we hope that it will be a good contract for us,” says Watts.

Forsyth County Commissioners are expected to vote on the proposed contract on Thursday, May 6.  If it's approved, Watts says NaphCare would begin providing services in September.

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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