Prisoners: Personal Records

Justice written question – answered on 5th February 2008.

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Photo of Edward Garnier Edward Garnier Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he is taking to ensure that medical, educational and other records follow prisoners immediately on transfer from one prison to another; and what the average length of time has been for a prisoner's records to be received by the prison of destination following transfer over the last 12 months.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Discharge Prison Service Order sets out documents which must travel with a prisoner's escorting officer and these include; the prisoner's inmate core record, the custodial documents file and the prisoner's clinical record. The principle is that the transfer of documents is immediate.

In cases where a prisoner arrives at a new establishment without all the necessary documentation the reception staff would notify the appropriate department within the releasing prison, who will then forward that information.

The Prison Service Order Continuity of Healthcare for Prisoners (PSO 3050), contains guidance to improve the continuity of care received when a prisoner is transferred from one establishment to another, as well as at reception and on discharge. The prison clinical record is designed to be clear and legible, to identify medical history and pathways of care, and to improve communication between clinicians.

The Learning and Skills Council is currently developing its Learner Summary Record Database which will, for the first time, provide a central store of learner information that can be accessed by education providers delivering learning and skills in prisons irrespective of where the offender is serving their sentence. The development of the database and indeed the operation of it are designed to minimise the period of discontinuity in an individual offender's agreed learning programme if they are moved during their sentence period.

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