Prisons: Mental Health

House of Lords written question – answered on 13th March 2007.

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Photo of Baroness Thomas of Winchester Baroness Thomas of Winchester Liberal Democrat

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How soon they will make good the £150,000 shortfall of funding for mental health in-reach to HMP Grendon that has arisen due to the suspension of agreed payments from Buckinghamshire National Health Service Primary Care Trust.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Minister of State, Department of Health, Minister of State (Department of Health) (NHS Reform)

The same criteria are used to determine the healthcare funding allocation for all prison establishments in England, including operational capacity and prison type. Funds are allocated as a global sum to the local primary care trust (PCT) and it is the responsibility of a prison's partnership board to ensure that its healthcare provision is of an equivalent quality and range to that which the public receives from the National Health Service.

The healthcare allocation for HMP Grendon in 2006-07 was £770,000, including mental health in-reach funding. That represents an increase of 25 per cent on the 2003-04 figure of £615,000.

The PCT has confirmed that no payments have been suspended. HMP Grendon runs a unique regime, with therapeutic personnel employed as part of a specialised custodial service funded by the Prison Service. During 2006, the PCT has worked with the prison to draw up a service specification and tender for supplementary mental health in-reach services. Funding to provide this service has been estimated at £150,000 to £200,000 per annum and is being considered as part of the local delivery plan process.

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Gerard Mulholland
Posted on 14 Mar 2007 4:45 pm (Report this annotation)

This is not the first time that a Minister gives an untruthful answer.
This time there is a hint of honesty on the part of the Minister and of dishonesty on the part of somebody in the information chain who provided him with this untruthful answer.
The Minister may be on top of his brief but he is clearly not on top of his department.