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Prisoners: Access to Healthcare

Volume 644: debated on Tuesday 10 July 2018

Offender health is a key part of delivering a secure and safe environment for those in our custody. I will appear before the Select Committee on Health this afternoon to address questions on exactly that topic, and we continue to see investment in progress in this area.

My constituent has multiple sclerosis. He went to prison nine months ago, newly diagnosed and relatively healthy. Now he has two hearing aids, is partially sighted and has to use a wheelchair. Despite that extreme deterioration, he was only taken to see a neurologist seven months after his arrival in prison. As a vulnerable inmate, is he not owed a duty of care by the prison? At the very least, should he not be moved to a category D prison closer to home?

I am grateful for the hon. Lady’s question. While it is not for me to talk about the categorisation of a particular prisoner, and I cannot go into the specific details of that case on the Floor of the House, I will say, as I said in answer to her initial question, that the care, health and wellbeing of prisoners is all of our concern. If she feels it would be helpful to discuss the specific case she mentions, I am happy to meet her.