Compulsorily Detained Psychiatric Patients: Coronavirus

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 20th May 2020.

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Photo of Lord Bradley Lord Bradley Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to protect people who have been remanded into prison whilst awaiting a psychiatric report requested by a magistrates court from COVID-19.

Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Ministry of Justice)

All prisoners are assessed by healthcare practitioners on reception into prison custody. Every establishment has been required to develop a local healthcare delivery plan for the COVID-19 period which will outline provisions for prisoners with the full range of healthcare needs and how these will be met locally. Arrangements vary between sites however reporting commitments will be managed in conjunction with local courts.

We are implementing a range of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in prisons. We have restricted prison regimes to support prisoners and staff adhere to social distancing and we have minimised inter prison transfers. We are also implementing a strategy of compartmentalisation: isolating the symptomatic, shielding the vulnerable and quarantining new arrivals in reverse cohorting units.

Those on remand are subject to the same compartmentalisation measures as the regular population, with new arrivals from the courts being located in reverse cohorting units.

This strategy is in line with Public Health England guidance and has shown early signs of success in limiting the transmission of COVID-19.

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