Skip to main content

Smoking: Prisons

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what mechanisms exist to ensure that funding allocated by primary care trusts for nicotine replacement therapy within prison establishments is adequate; and if she will make a statement; (142866)

(2) what assessment she has made of the impact on demand for nicotine replacement therapy within prison establishments of the requirements of Prison Service Instruction 09/2007; what resources she has made available to meet this demand; and if she will make a statement;

(3) what assessment she has made of the demand for nicotine replacement therapy in areas designated as dormitories within the prison estate; and if she will make a statement;

(4) what assessment she has made of the availability of nicotine replacement therapy at (a) each prison establishment and (b) for those held in custody while attending courts; what resources are provided to support the demand for this treatment; and if she will make a statement.

Since April 2006, primary care trusts (PCTs) have been responsible for ensuring that healthcare services in prison(s) in their locality are of an equivalent quality and range to that which the general public receives from the national health service. Provision is determined by local health needs assessment, which, in partnership with the prison, should take into account the type of accommodation in which prisoners are held.

Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is available via prison health services, in the same way that it is in the community, through a general practitioner. This would include those prisoners attending for court appearance from prison.

For each of the financial years 2003-06, the Department provided an additional £500,000 funding to bring smoking cessation services in prisons in England, including NRT, in line with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines. Resources are now contained within baseline primary care trust funding.