Prisons: Staff

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 10th September 2018.

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Photo of Sarah Wollaston Sarah Wollaston Chair, Health and Social Care Committee, Chair, Liaison Committee (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department and HM Prison and Probation Service are taking to speed up security clearance for health and social care staff commencing employment in prisons.

Photo of Rory Stewart Rory Stewart The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

The last year has seen a significant increase in the level of recruitment with a target of deploying an additional 2,500 prison officers in post by the end of 2018. This has impacted the overall volume of cases handled by our shared services provider, due to significant increases in the number of applications handled. This has resulted in backlogs in processing across all of the business.

The right balance needs to be struck between having staff appropriately security cleared and the speed at which they can begin employment with HMPPS. Steps have been taken to review the whole recruitment end-to-end procedure to look at the points in which delays have or can take place. Action has been taken to address these and the backlog of cases has been reduced significantly from last year. This in turn, has also resulted in speedier processing times in security vetting for all staff.

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