To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison establishments in England and Wales provide an induction programme for staff joining the Prison Service from the national health service. 
[holding answer 6 November 1997]: All Prison Service establishments are expected to arrange a two-week induction programme under the guidance of a senior medical officer for all new entrant medical staff whether they are from the National Health Service or elsewhere.In addition, new entrant doctors are expected to attend a week long centrally organised course within six months of joining the Prison Service.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison establishments in England and Wales are currently without a full or part-time medical officer. 
[holding answer 6 November 1997]: Fourteen establishments currently have vacancies for either full or part-time permanently appointed medical officers. Where appropriate medical cover at these establishments is augmented by the use of locum doctors. The Prison Service holds periodic recruitment drives to fill such vacancies, and the next one will be held shortly.