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Mental Health Services: Prisoners

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 22 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prisoners have been transferred from prison to hospital for psychiatric care since 1997. (242408)

The following table shows the number of transfers of mentally ill prisoners to more appropriate care in hospital under the Mental Health Act:

Number of prisoners

1997

757

1998

737

1999

732

2000

664

2001

670

2002

723

2003

786

2004

891

2005

900

2006

961

2007

926

Source:

Ministry of Justice.

In 2007 the Department launched guidelines and conducted 17 pilots across the country to test more efficient protocols for speedier transfer. Since then the guidelines show a 28 per cent. improvement in transfer times and the Department plans to consider how this improvement could be rolled out across all prison sites.