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Covid-19 in Prisons

Volume 685: debated on Tuesday 8 December 2020

Throughout the pandemic, we have worked really closely with Public Health England to respond to any outbreaks in prison and to keep our staff and those in our custody safe. We are taking a number of measures, which include compartmentalisation—keeping separate the vulnerable, those who are symptomatic and those who are coming into prisons from outside—as well as increased testing and more use of personal protective equipment, including face masks, where it is appropriate.

During these tough times of covid, health and safety is more important than ever. Will the Minister consider introducing a hotline for staff so that they can report health and safety breaches, particularly around the covid question but in other regards as well, given that prisons are a difficult place to work?

I thank the hon. Lady very much for her suggestion. There are a number of hotlines available to staff. We work very closely with the unions on a local level, as well as a national level, but I am very happy to take away her suggestion to see whether it is necessary.