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Diabetes: Prisons

Volume 506: debated on Monday 22 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what training his Department provides to (a) prison officers and (b) healthcare professionals on the management of diabetes in prisons; (316874)

(2) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of healthcare services for people with diabetes in prison;

(3) what steps his Department has taken to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes among prisoners;

(4) how many adults in prison are being treated for each type of diabetes.

Since April 2006, commissioning responsibility for prison health services has been fully devolved to the national health service primary care trusts (PCTs). PCTs work with the prison healthcare team to assess the health care needs of their population and develop services to meet those needs. There is no specific training for prison officers in the management of diabetes.

Local PCTs are responsible for assuring the training of their workforce and the quality of care provided in primary care settings to their local population, which includes the offender population within publicly run prisons in their locality.

All clinical staff are regulated and subject to the same standards of practice including those providing care in prisons. The standards of care expressed in the New General Medical Services Quality Outcomes Framework will be monitored, as they are in general practice, across the prison estate following the roll out of a general practitioner (GP) clinical IT system.

There is no specific programme in prisons for the prevention of type II diabetes, however, in April 2009, PCTs began phased implementation of the NHS Health Check programme which aims to prevent diabetes, stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. The programme is a universal and systematic programme for everyone between the ages of 40-74 that do not already have an existing vascular disease. The purpose of a NHS Health Check is to identify an individual’s risk of diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, for this risk to be communicated in a way that the individual understands, and for that risk to be managed by appropriate follow-up. It is the responsibility of local PCTs to consider their different communities, including offender populations, when doing so. NHS Health Checks can be carried out in a variety settings, including pharmacies, GP practices and other community settings such as prisons. This will help ensure access to the checks by prisoners.

The Department does not collect the numbers of adults in prison being treated for each type of diabetes.