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Young Offenders: Dyspraxia

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what progress has been made in diagnosing dyspraxia and related conditions in young offender institutions since 1997. (139597)

The commissioning responsibility for prison health services is now fully devolved to national health service primary care trusts. Referrals to specialist services, such as those for dyspraxia, are made on the basis of individual need as they are in the wider community.

Since April 2005, all prisons provide health screening for first time receptions into custody. This new triage-based screening procedure consists of an initial short screen by health care staff to identify any immediate health issues. If a prisoner screens positive for one of four categories—mental health; suicide and self-harm; physical health; substance misuse—a further assessment using evidence based protocols will be carried out by an appropriate member of the primary care team. All prisoners are offered a further general health assessment in the week following reception.

A health screen for specific use with children and young people is currently being piloted. One of the key purposes of this is to identify physical health, substance misuse and mental health needs within five days of intake resulting in a comprehensive health care plan shared by all healthcare staff.

Dyspraxia can also be identified through the learning needs assessment screening all young offenders receive to assess their educational requirements.