Prisoners: Mental Health Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 25th November 2021.

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Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the HMICFRS report, A joint thematic inspection of the criminal justice journey for individuals with mental health needs and disorders, published on 17 November 2021, what recent assessment he has made of trends in waiting times for group therapies for people with mental health problems in prisons in England and Wales.

Photo of Lyn Brown Lyn Brown Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the HMICFRS report, A joint thematic inspection of the criminal justice journey for individuals with mental health needs and disorders, published on 17 November 2021, what steps he is taking to reduce waiting times for group therapies for people with mental health problems in prisons in England and Wales.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

NHS England and NHS Improvement undertook a comprehensive mental health needs analysis was undertaken during summer 2021. It is expected to provide information about the current mental health needs of prisoners as well as the staffing skill mix and resources required to meet these needs. NHS England and NHS Improvement expect to publish the outcomes from this analysis by April 2022.

NHS England and NHS Improvement acknowledge there will continue to be restrictions on accessing group therapies until prisons move into stage one of the COVID-19 recovery regime.

Local recovery plans are in place to address the mental health and well-being of prisoners, which will include both individual and group therapy depending on restrictions. In the interim, telemedicine and digital platforms have been developed to support prisoners’ ongoing mental health and wellbeing across the prison estate.

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