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Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:21 pm on 29th March 2006.

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Photo of Lord Drayson Lord Drayson Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Defence Procurement), Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Procurement) 4:21 pm, 29th March 2006

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord for the points that he has made with his wide experience of these matters. It is important for us to make the read-across to the experience in the prison community as we review the recommendations coming out of the Blake report. We must ensure that any remedies which have worked well in the experience of the Home Office are applied within the Ministry of Defence.

I agree with the noble Lord that when there is a statistically random cluster—which I have experienced in my work in the medical field—it is psychologically attractive to draw conclusions. But it is clear from the review that that was not the case here. None the less, one death is one too many. We are not complacent about learning the lessons from this review, ensuring that these people have not died in vain, and robustly implementing the changes while taking into account, as the noble Lord says, the importance of time. It is important for us to look at these recommendations and to come back to the House in a few months with our responses. We should also ensure that we as Ministers make the right decisions on prioritisation of investment which will allow the changes to be implemented properly, to make a real difference in the timescale that is clearly needed.