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Payment by Results

Volume 535: debated on Tuesday 8 November 2011

13. What assessment he has made of the effects on reoffending rates of his policy of payment by results to companies. (78964)

The first results against which payment will be made in the two pilots at Her Majesty’s prisons Peterborough and Doncaster will be available in 2014. I am visiting Peterborough prison on Friday to make my initial assessment of the ONE service. I will look in particular at the methodology and evidence from case studies as it is too early for statistical data to be available.

The Minister may be aware of a case close to my constituency in which a paedophile was allowed out from a secure health unit on unescorted day release, only to commit a crime against a 10-year-old constituent of mine. I support the Minister’s plans to make improvements when these companies get things correct, but what plans does he have to deal with such companies when they get it wrong?

As my hon. Friend has made clear, that case involved a patient who was detained under mental health legislation, under which unescorted leave requires the approval of the Secretary of State, a risk assessment and a recommendation from a responsible clinician. There are no proposals for companies to make such decisions.

The Minister talks about payment by results for companies. It is clear that in his review of probation and payment by results next year, there is significant uncertainty about the role of smaller probation trusts. Bedfordshire probation trust is one of the smallest but best performing trusts. Can he give an assurance that its role will be upheld in any subsequent review?

The hon. Gentleman needs to understand that we are piloting payment by results in six ways in 20 different pilots to see what is the most effective way of delivering it. It might be by putting the responsibility on probation trusts, prisons, local authorities or chiefs of police. We are looking at all those things and will see what is the most effective way to take payment by results forward in the interests of us all.