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Shrewsbury Prison (Dental Treatment)

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provision has been made for prisoners from HM Prison Shrewsbury to receive dental treatment. [109697]

At present two and half hours of dental time are made available to prisoners each week at Shrewsbury prison. This has led to average waiting times to see a dentist of 14 days for a prisoner who is experiencing dental pain and 95 days for a routine appointment. Both waiting times are unacceptable and action will be taken in the near future to bring about reductions.The implementation, shortly, of the strategy to modernise dental services for prisoners will provide the prison's dentist and healthcare manager with clear recommendations about what types of dental treatment should be carried out in a local prison. Shrewsbury is one of a number of prisons which will receive additional funding this financial year to procure extra dental sessions to reduce excess waiting times. Funding is also being made available to prison health's regional development teams to purchase dental expertise to ensure that advice and assistance is available to accompany implementation of the dental strategy, in order to ensure that unacceptable dental waiting times do not build up again.