To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2019 to Question 210641 on Prisons: Drugs, what information his Department holds on the number of incidents where staff may have been exposed to psychoactive substances.
We take all reports of the effects of secondary inhalation of psychoactive substances very seriously as protecting the health and safety of both our prisoners and our staff is our priority.
We are looking very closely at the information we receive on reported incidents but are currently unable to ascertain reliably whether an incident might be associated with secondary exposure to a psychoactive substance. We are working closely with Public Health England to understand the issue and to ensure that we respond appropriately.
While we continue to assess the risks posed by secondary exposure, we seek to mitigate any risks as far as possible and have revised our internal guidance on controlling these. The revised guidance will be published shortly and includes information on how to assess and control risk on entry into cells where psychoactive substances have been used, with more detail on specific airborne risks and control methods, and clearer guidance on responding to and investigating exposure.