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Health: Prisons

Volume 712: debated on Monday 5 October 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why strategic health authorities allocate less funding per capita for prison medical facilities than NHS trusts. [HL5284]

Responsibility for maintaining prison healthcare facilities, including any new capital development, remains the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice (National Offender Management Service) following the completion of the transfer of commissioning responsibility for prison healthcare services to the National Healthcare Service in 2006. Non-fixed equipment (freestanding furniture and specialist medical equipment for example) is the responsibility of the local NHS primary care trusts (PCTs) in terms of maintenance, replacement and purchase of new items.

Details are set out in The National Partnership Agreement between the Department of Health and the Ministry of Justice (was Home Office) for the accountability and commissioning of health services for prisoners in public sector prisons in England, as updated in January 2007. A copy is available in the Library.

The department allocates funding to PCTs via strategic health authorities on the basis of the relative needs of their populations.