Prisons: Suicides - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:18 pm on 31 January 2024.

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Photo of Lord Stewart of Dirleton Lord Stewart of Dirleton The Advocate-General for Scotland 3:18, 31 January 2024

My Lords, most prisoners with mental health needs are able to receive the care and treatment that they need within prison. The group to which the noble Lord refers, those with acute problems requiring treatment in hospital, have to be referred, assessed and transferred to hospital under the Mental Health Act. We are determined to ensure that these transfers take place in a timely manner. We are working with health and justice partners and will continue to work to provide a non-statutory independent role designed to improve oversight and to monitor delivery of the 28-day time limit for transfers set out in NHS England’s good practice guidance. There is also a pilot health and justice hub in the north-east of England, improving the way in which courts, health services and prisons work together at local levels better to support those with severe mental illness, with a view to smoothing their pathway into the correct treatment.