Policy Bulletin

Policy Bulletin 485

Why were the policies changed?

The objective was to improve the clarity and consistency of Health Services policy instruments by amalgamating and streamlining seven Health Services CDs into a single integrated directive on physical, mental and public health.

What has changed?

Commissioner's Directive 800

Relevant information from the following policies has been integrated into the new CD 800 and redundancies were removed:

  • CD 800 – Health Services
  • CD 803 – Consent to Health Service Assessment, Treatment and Release of Information
  • CD 805 – Administration of Medication
  • CD 821 – Management of Infectious Diseases
  • CD 835 – Health Care Records
  • CD 840 – Psychological Services
  • CD 850 – Mental Health Services

CDs 803, 805, 821, 835, 840 and 850 are therefore now revoked.

The CD directs that appropriate processes be in place, for example, with respect to the provision of health services, sharing of risk-related health information and the facilitation of health interdisciplinary team meetings.

The responsibilities of the Institutional Head specify that the Chief Psychologist and Chief, Health Services, must be included in management discussions and decisions in order to ensure consideration of health services issues.

It is also stipulated that both the Institutional Head and the District Director ensure that appropriate space is available for the provision of confidential health services.


Guidelines have also been promulgated, as follows:

  • GL 800-1 – Hunger Strike: Managing an Inmate's Health (new format only)
  • GL 800-3 – Consent to Health Service Assessment, Treatment and Release of Information (previously CD 800-3; the GLs now also provide clarification regarding involuntary admission and treatment)
  • GL 800-4 – Response to Medical Emergencies (extracted from previous CD 800)
  • GL 800-5 – Gender Dysphoria [extracted from previous CD 800 (section on Gender Identity Disorder) and updated]
  • GL 800-6 – Bleach Distribution (previously GL 821-2)
  • GL 800-7 – Cleaning Blood and/or Other Body Fluid Spills (previously GL 821-3)
  • GL 800-8 – Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Protocol for Managing Significant Exposure to Blood and/or Other Body Fluids (previously Protocol 821 1).

How was the CD developed?

The amalgamated CD was drafted by the Health Services Sector in consultation with Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) health care professionals, the Executive Committee, relevant unions and the Office of the Correctional Investigator.

Content that was already included in Guidelines or professional practice standards or that was deemed more appropriate to be included in a practice directive (refer to Annex B of the CD) was removed.


All staff and contractors responsible for providing health services to offenders.

Who will be affected by the policy?

Staff, contractors and offenders, as relevant.

Expected cost?


Other impacts?

In addition to the seven Guidelines that have been promulgated, there are a number of other CSC practice directives currently available to staff, as outlined in Annex B of the CD, and accessible on the Health Services InfoNet site. These are currently undergoing an in-depth review with the objective of streamlining.


Director General, Mental Health

Director General, Clinical Services and Public Health

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.