A former Beaconsfield GP has spoken about her motivation behind switching from working in a quaint surgery in Beaconsfield to some of the most dangerous prisons in the country.

64-year-old Amanda Brown wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps. Having grown up admiring his dedication as a GP, she moved to Beaconsfield in 1984 to start up a surgery.

Amanda loved this role but left the practice in 2004 over changes to GP’s pay structure and performance bonuses.

She was then approached by a doctor who was recruiting GP’s to work in prisons across the South East of England – swapping her surgery in Bucks for a world of highly dangerous criminals, metal stairwells, locked doors and high security gates.

Amanda has treated some of the most dangerous criminals in the country at a number of notorious prisons, including Wormwood Scrubs and Bronzefield women’s prison.

Amanda said: "I feel alive when I'm at work. Being with these fascinating people is invigorating and makes me feel young. It's a privilege to be accepted by them and to try to be on their side. It gives me a sense of feeling worthwhile."

Brown says she has never really felt scared, despite being in an environment which is often pretty intimidating.

Initially, she was told not to wear any expensive jewellery or skirts (which was considered provocative), not to take phones into the prison, or chewing gum, which could be potentially be used by prisoners to take impressions of an officer's keys.

In Wormwood Scrubs she was duty doctor, on call for emergencies, usually accompanied by a nurse, but often she would see prisoners on their own, particularly when screening new arrivals in the First Night Centre.

"I was told that I should always leave my door open and sit between the door and the prisoner because if it was the other way round, the prisoner could just shut the door and take me hostage."

After seven years at Wormwood Scrubs, Brown moved to Bronzefield in 2016, where she works today.

"The most overpowering thing to me is how many of these poor women have been abused and are victims themselves. The lives some of them have lived that have led them to be in prison are so shocking and so tragic that I feel for them, and I do find their stories fascinating and I want to try to be somebody who's on their side.

"Such a high percentage of them are homeless, so the cycle continues. The homelessness predisposes to the drug use, which causes the crime. Some of these girls see prison as a respite.”

The Prison Doctor by Dr Amanda Brown is published by HQ, priced £8.99. Available now.