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Health Services: Prisons

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what mechanisms exist to monitor the accuracy of statistics provided in reporting on the provision of health care in prison establishments; and if she will make a statement; (137713)

(2) what mechanisms exist to allow staff to report the submission of statistical inaccuracies on the provision of health care in prison establishments; and if she will make a statement.

The Department uses a system of star ratings to monitor the state of prison health care services across England and Wales. This is based on a framework of measures, including prison self-assessments, external inspection reports, and prisons’ performance against key areas such as mental health and dental waiting times.

Data are collected for each prison establishment via Prison Service Area Offices. It is for primary care trusts, in conjunction with other stakeholders, to ensure the quality of returns concerning prison health care to the Department, Any inaccuracies will be resolved locally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will place in the Library a copy of the Secure Healthcare bid for the delivery of health care provision in prison establishments. (137715)

The Secure Healthcare application for the Department’s social enterprise pathfinder status was one of 381, of which 26 were successful. Elements of each application contain “commercial—in confidence” information about potential social enterprises. It would therefore be inappropriate to place a copy of any of the applications in the Library.

The tender bid for the delivery of health care provision in HM Prison Wandsworth is a local matter for HM Prison Wandsworth and Wandsworth primary care trust.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what provision the prison health service makes for prisoners with mental health problems. (138467)

Mental health services for prisoners have been a key part of the Government’s recent reforms of health services for prisoners. The Department is now investing £20 million a year in national health service mental health in-reach services for prisoners. These are community mental health teams working within prisons and are now available in 102 prisons, with some 360 extra staff employed. Every prison in England and Wales has access to these services.

I also refer my hon. Friend to the answers given to him by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Mr. Sutcliffe) on 21 May 2007, Official Report, columns 1146-7W.