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Prisons

Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prison health care centres are categorised as (a) red, (b) amber and (c) green under the traffic lights performance monitoring system; and what the criteria are on which prison healthcare centres are rated under the traffic lights system. [103071]

The current criteria for rating prison health care centres are as follows.

Red—The totality of the problems faced by the health care centre are such that decisive short-term or long-term action is needed to ensure a minimally acceptable and safe service.
Amber—the problems faced need to be resolved quickly and could or would get worse if left unattended, but are not as urgent as those in the Red category.
Green—the problems faced are manageable and on the whole the service provided is acceptable in the short to medium term.
The latest traffic lights ratings show that, on 31 December 2002, there were no red, 28 amber and 110 green prison health care centres.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of cost implications for future NHS budgets of trends in the prison population. [103388]

Overall financial responsibility for prison health services will transfer from the Home Office to the Department of Health from 1 April 2003. Any subsequent funding identified to support increased prison capacity will contain an element for health care, which will be transferred to the Department of Health.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) sentenced and (b) unsentenced prisoners are receiving treatment for mental health problems; and how many of these are being treated as in—patients (i) in the prison health care centre and (ii) in an NHS setting. [103070]

Information is not available in exactly the form requested. From 1 January to 31 December 2002, there were 39,000 admissions to prison health care centres. We estimate that around 30 per cent. of these, approximately 11,800, were for mental health reasons.In the national health service setting, the latest available statistics show that in 2001, 3,002 restricted patients were detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983. In this period, 595 prisoners had, by order of the Home Secretary under sections 47 and 48 of the Act, been transferred from prison service establishments to secure places funded by the NHS.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he will announce the budgets for mental health in-reach services in prisons. [103386]

Funding for in-reach services established before the end of 2002–03 was included in the baseline resource level allocations that were issued to primary care trusts in December 2002. Further allocations, in respect of new in-reach services to be developed in 2003–04 and addition al support for some existing services will be made shortly.