Skip to main content

Mental Health Services: Prisons

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the prison health care budget was spent on mental health care during the last financial year. (240693)

Commissioning responsibility for mental health care and treatment within the prison estate transferred fully to primary care trusts in 2006.

Investment in health services provided to prisons increased from £118 million in 2002-03 to nearly £200 million in 2007-08. By 2005-06, nearly £20 million was being invested recurrently in mental health in-reach services. There are now 102 mental health in-reach teams and all prisons now have access to them.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made towards achieving the target of a waiting time of 14 days for the transfer of prisoners with severe mental illness to hospital; and if he will make a statement. (240712)

The Department is currently exploring ways to make progress towards the 14 day standard waiting time for transfer through the provision of guidance and support for the national health service and Criminal Justice System to work in closer partnership together, and reduce delays for this very vulnerable group.

We have asked Lord Bradley to consider the diversion of offenders with mental health problems and learning disabilities away from prison and we expect his report to be available next year.