Prisons: Drugs

Department of Health written question – answered on 4th December 2015.

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Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will include take-home naloxone in the harm reduction strategy for the penal service; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to encourage the provision of take-home naloxone for at risk prisoners by health and justice lead area teams; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The substance misuse element of the harm reduction strategy will align with national clinical guidance with regard to how naloxone and other medicines in the care pathway are considered for use, although specific medicines are unlikely to be named in the strategy.

The commissioning of substance misuse treatment for prisoners is the responsibility of health and justice commissioning teams in ten of NHS England’s area teams, supported by a central health and justice team. The Government expects commissioners and providers of substance misuse services in prisons and in the community to work together closely in respect to prisoners being released from custody to ensure seamless transfers of care.

Public Health England, the Department and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have jointly published a factsheet[1] to explain October’s regulatory change with regard to naloxone and how the wider availability of naloxone affects relevant services. NHS England Area Teams will encourage providers to take account of this guidance.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/widening-the-availability-of-naloxone/widening-the-availability-of-naloxone

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