Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre: Mental Health Services

Department of Health written question – answered on 25th November 2015.

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Photo of Kate Osamor Kate Osamor Labour/Co-operative, Edmonton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what proportion of detainees held in Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre are receiving medication for mental health problems; and what proportion of those detainees have had their dosage increased since being held in detention.

Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt The Minister of State, Department of Health

Information on the number of detainees who are prescribed a particular medicine or any changes in prescriptions is not collected centrally.

It is essential that any person detained within the immigration detention estate receives medical attention appropriate to their clinical needs. Health professionals should assess and keep under review the medicines requirements for each individual to determine the best course of action for that patient, taking into account their views and preferences.

Health providers at Yarl’s Wood have now established a Health and Wellbeing Group for detainees in recognition of the anxiety levels that many detainees exhibit when they arrive in the establishment. This group supports the detainees to feel less disempowered in their environment and, as such, can pre-empt the escalation of anxiety which when not acknowledged, can lead to more serious mental health presentations.

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