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Medical Care (Prisons)

Volume 171: debated on Wednesday 25 April 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what different types of medical qualification exist for prison staff involved in medical care of prisoners; and what is the minimum level of such personnel available at all times in prison.

All prison service establishments are served by one or more medical officers all of whom are registered medical practitioners. Many have psychiatric or other special qualifications. Twenty-four hour medical cover is required and is achieved by a combination of daily attendance and an emergency "on call" rota.Nursing services are provided by hospital officers (prison officers who specialise in health care) and civilian nurses. All the latter, and about 16 per cent. of hospital officers, have a recognised professional nursing qualification. Other hospital officers have received in-service training (currently of 24 weeks duration) in basic nursing techniques. The staffing levels and working patterns are conditioned by the size and function of individual establishments.

Average population of Cardiff remand centre and local prison: by type of prisoner
1979 to 1990
Remand prisonersSentenced prisoners1Non-criminal prisonersAll prisoners
Under 21AdultUnder 21Adult
Remand centre444084
Local prison733055383
Remand centre464893
Local prison882893380
Remand centre6148109
Local prison862885379
Remand centre6348112
Local prison863241410
Remand centre523587
Local prison933011395
Remand centre493888
Local prison782433323
Remand centre5147198
Local prison1282451375
Remand centre613192
Local prison1132962410
Remand centre7438113
Local prison973281427
Remand centre7138107
Local prison1003203422
Remand centre661985
Local prison1022912394
Remand centre701787
Local prison1172452364
1 Including fine defaulters.
2 31 January and 28 February.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the maximum number of prisoners accommodated at Cardiff prison at any point during each of the past 10 years and in the current year to date; and how many were (a) sentenced offenders, (b) remand prisoners and (c) young prisoners in each case.