Wormwood Scrubs Prison: Coronavirus

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 26th October 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Labour, Hammersmith

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cases of covid-19 have been identified in HMP Wormwood Scrubs; how many of those identified are receiving hospital treatment; how many require intensive care or ventilation; and how many are people who are vulnerable or have an underlying medical condition.

Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Labour, Hammersmith

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many inmates of HMP Wormwood Scrubs are confined to their cells as a result of covid-19 infection in the prison; and for what period they will remain confined.

Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Labour, Hammersmith

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what access inmates of HMP Wormwood Scrubs confined to their cells as a result of covid-19 infection in the prison have to (a) washing and toilet facilities and (b) telephone calls to family members.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Closed settings such as prisons pose particular challenges in managing outbreaks, but we have implemented strong measures to mitigate this risk, guided by public health advice, and with the safety of staff and prisoners remaining the absolute priority.

Between ‘five and fewer’ required external hospitalisation but it is reported that they were not receiving hospital treatment as a result of covid-19. We do not hold medical records for any individual and therefore cannot disclose underlying medical conditions.

Verified data on the number of prisoners that have tested positive for Covid-19 in September and October is due to be published in November, as part of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) national Covid-19 statistics and workforce statistics on gov.uk:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hm-prison-and-probation-service-covid-19-statistics-monthly

As of 23 October a total of 59 prisoners at HMP Wormwood Scrubs were in isolation for a period of 14 days as a result of being symptomatic or similar COVID related conditions. This is in line with the Government contact tracing policies. The establishment continues to isolate prisoners displaying symptoms, as set out in the HMPPS compartmentalisation strategy.

Prisoners, including those who are isolating have unlimited access to washing and toilet facilities. They also have access to in-cell telephony so that they can maintain family contact which is vital for their mental wellbeing and rehabilitation. Since the onset of covid-19, all prisoners have been provided with additional telephone credit to encourage contact with their families. Those in isolation have also been given further credit during this period.

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