Mental Health Services: Prisons:Written question - 275743

Asked by Zac Goldsmith
(Richmond Park)

Named Day

'Named day' questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.

Asked on: 10 July 2019
Department of Health and Social Care
Mental Health Services: Prisons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve the mental health of prisoners.
Answered by: Jackie Doyle-Price
Answered on: 15 July 2019

NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently working across the entire criminal justice pathway to develop and improve services for offenders with mental health difficulties.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with partners to intervene at the earliest opportunity to ensure that offenders receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

Liaison and Diversion Services operate in police stations and courts to identify and assess people with vulnerabilities including mental health issues. Where that individual is subsequently sent to prison the receiving prison will have the relevant information of the individual’s mental health needs to inform the reception healthcare staff so that they can implement appropriate interventions as soon as possible after they arrive.

Health services are available across the estate where assessment identifies treatment needs.

The service specification for prison mental health services was reviewed in 2017-18. This review, led by clinicians in conjunction with stakeholders and informed by experts with experience, was published in March 2018, with all new services being commissioned against it from April 2018. The new specification includes the Royal College of Psychiatrists Quality Network for Prison Mental Health Services standards, ensuring equity of quality across the estate.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently consulting on revised Transfer and Remission guidance to ensure that new clinically developed timescales are set which ensure timely and appropriate access to mental health treatment in hospital when necessary, in a clinically safe and well managed way. The consultation ends on 19 July 2019.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed to a new service to support people leaving custody to remain engaged with community-based healthcare services. The reconnect service will support continuity of care when people return to the community.

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