asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will set out in the Official Report details of research commissioned by his Department into the psychiatric needs of the prison population;(2) what research has been commissioned by his Department into the case for specialist psychiatric units within the prison system for prisoners not regarded as detainable under the Mental Health Act; and when he expects a decision to be taken on the case for such units.
The study referred to in the reply given to a question to the hon. Member for St. Helens, South (Mr. Bermingham) on 16 February, at column 436, will provide definitive data on which the prison medical service may consider the particular needs for this part of the prison population. The study is expected to take three years. In the meantime, censuses of mentally disturbed prisoners undertaken by medical officers provide a starting point for the development of improved arrangements for their care and management. It is riot envisaged that such arrangements will amount to separate psychiatric units.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the study of the practicability, costs and benefits of clustering prison establishments in groups to enable one establishment to act as a main centre providing medical services for the others to be completed.
This is a long-term study, for which a completion date has yet to be set.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the visit to Scotland by the head of prison nursing services to examine arrangements for nurse officer training in the Scottish prison service is expected to take place.
A date has yet to be set.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions in the last five years prisoners have petitioned him seeking a second medical opinion; and what response was made to each such petition.
The information requested is not statistically recorded.
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many consultant psychiatrists employed by the prison service do not have control of National Health Service beds.
The information requested is not readily ascertainable from central records and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.