Prisoners: Access to Healthcare

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 10th July 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Sarah Jones Sarah Jones Labour, Croydon Central 12:00 am, 10th July 2018

What plans the Government has made to improve access to healthcare for prisoners.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

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.

Photo of Sarah Jones Sarah Jones Labour, Croydon Central

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?

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

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.