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Mental Health Services: Prisoners

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Caernarfon of 30 October 2008, Official Report, column 1245W, how many of the 926 prisoners with mental illness who were transferred from prison to hospital in 2007 (a) remain in hospital, (b) were returned to prison and (c) absconded. (245964)

This information is not collected by the Department. The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) have supplied information in respect of individual patients with mental illness transferred from the prison service to hospital.

Further to the answer to the hon. Member for Caernarfon (Hywel Williams) of 30 October 2008, Official Report, column 1245W, the MoJ have revised their data and report that the number of prisoners with mental illness and who were transferred to hospital in 2007 was 934, not 926.

Of these 934 patients, 301 remain in hospital, 167 were returned to prison and one patient absconded and is still at large. Of the remaining 465 individuals, 219 were remitted to a court to deal with as unsentenced prisoners who were awaiting a court appearance when transferred to hospital. A further 242 were either not subject to restrictions at the time of transfer, or saw their restrictions expire after transfer, and would have remained in hospital only so long as their mental condition required it. Of the remaining four individuals, one has been deported and three have died.

These figures include six people who absconded at some point during their stay in hospital and later returned.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on mental health services for prisoners in each (a) prison and (b) health authority area in each of the last five financial years; and how many prisoners received such treatment in each of these years. (247068)

Information on spending on mental health services in each prison and health authority between 2002-03 and 2006-07 is shown in the tables, which have been placed in the Library. As of 2007-08, this allocation was baselined to form part of the overall prison health allocation and spending on offender mental health services is no longer referred to separately.

In addition to this recurrent funding, the Department has made two non-recurrent payments totalling £4.2 million in 2007-08 and 2008-09 to targeted establishments for mental health in-reach services.

Information on the number of prisoners receiving mental health services is not collected centrally.