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Prison Health Services

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 15 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each prison the average amount of time available each week to give dental treatment to prisoners by qualified NHS dentists. [111925]

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list for each year since 1997 the percentage of (a) women and (b) girls aged 15 to 17 years in prison with (i) drug problems and (ii) alcohol problems. [112515]

Information is not available in the form requested. A survey of psychiatric morbidity among prisoners in England and Wales, undertaken in 1997 by the Office for National Statistics, showed that 44 per cent, of the women in the sample reported dependence on drugs and 38 per cent, reported hazardous levels of alcohol consumption in the year before coming into prison. Within these figures, the rates for young women aged between 16 and 20 were 57 per cent, and 50 per cent, respectively.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the mental health services available to girls aged 15 to 17 in prison. [112518]

All Prison Service establishments and their national health service partners are working to implement the improvements to mental health services set out in "Changing the Outlook, a Strategy for Developing and Modernising Mental Health Services in Prisons" published in December 2001. Prisoners who need in-patient treatment for mental disorder may be transferred to psychiatric hospitals. The care and treatment of mentally disordered prisoners who do not need to be admitted to hospital is generally undertaken by prison healthcare staff under the supervision of NHS specialists and, increasingly, by NHS-funded, multi-disciplinary, mental health in-reach teams. Such teams are already in operation or being developed at six of the establishments that hold young women aged 15 to 17 and one is to be introduced at the seventh during this financial year.