What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on the treatment of people with neurodivergent conditions in the criminal justice system.
The Lord Chancellor is settling into his new role and has not yet had a chance to speak to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, but I can reassure the hon. Lady that, at director level, cross-departmental working groups have been working hard. As she will know from the Ministry of Justice action plan, which was updated in January this year, significant progress has been made on neurodiversity.
I thank the Minister for his response, and for telephoning me yesterday. As I said during that conversation, it is estimated that one in four prisoners have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and screening prisoners for that condition at an early stage—within a week of their entering prison, say—would not only help to prevent prison suicides, but aid rehabilitation and eventual resettlement. Will the Minister undertake to talk to his colleagues, particularly those on the Back Benches who have been working on this, about the need for such cases to be identified as early as possible?
I can reassure the hon. Lady: I understand that prisoners are indeed screened in their first week, as are those on probation. However, there is more work to be done, and I am more than happy to arrange meetings with the hon. Lady and with any other colleague who wishes to pursue in more depth the work that we are doing in respect of both prisons and probation.
May I commend the work that the Government are doing in pursuance of the call for evidence on neurodiversity that I initiated when I was in office? I note that 80 neurodiversity support managers have been appointed, but what more can be done to ensure that all our prisons have neurodiversity officers who can train other staff as well as screening prisoners who come into the system for a range of neurodiverse conditions?
I pay tribute to the work that my right hon. and learned Friend has done in this regard. I know that he took it very seriously and was passionate about this issue. In fact, we now have 100 neurodiversity support managers rather than 80: we have made significant progress, but there are still have 22 vacancies. We have more work to do on the screening, and we have more work to do to ensure that the data collection is both consistent and robust.