Immigration Removal Centres

House of Lords written question – answered on 11th February 2014.

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Photo of Lord Avebury Lord Avebury Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps have been taken at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre to comply with the recommendations of HM Inspectorate of Prisons following an unannounced inspection on 5–16 August 2013, particularly that which concerns Rule 35.

Photo of Lord Taylor of Holbeach Lord Taylor of Holbeach The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

The performance by GEO, the contractor running Harmondsworth, has been below the high standard expected.

The Home Office has already taken a range of actions to address the areas of immediate concern. Contractors have been reminded of the appropriate use of handcuffs and a specific instruction will be issued for the management of detainees who have been hospitalised. The Home Office has also instigated a new process to notify case owners when detainees are moved to hospital to ensure that detention remains appropriate. There is a new healthcare provider and the Home Office is working closely with them to ensure that a safe and comprehensive service is provided.

The Home Office’s Quality Audit Team will carry out a further audit of Rule 35 processes early in the new financial year.

A Service Improvement Plan will address each recommendation and outline what action will be taken. This will be published within two months of the inspection. Thereafter, the Home Office has 18 months to effect the improvements

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