§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why the Matthew Trust is no longer allowed to carry on its work with prisoners at Broadmoor.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
The Matthew Trust has never had any established role in relation to patients at Broadmoor hospital who are not prisoners. There is a full range of professional staff at the hospital who are responsible for the treatment and care of patients. Voluntary organisations, such as the League of Friends, whose sole concern is the welfare of the hospital and its patients, play an important part in the life of the hospital. The trust has made some contributions to patients' benevolent funds and given financial gifts to some individual patients. Unfortunately, the trust has also recently announced that one of its main aims is to campaign to have all nursing staff represented by a nursing union rather than the Prison Officers Association. The management is not willing to admit a body campaigning for these objectives inside the closed environment of the special hospital.
The hospital management has however, said that it will allow written communications from the trust concerning any future monetary gifts if the social work department or the responsible consultant is satisfied that such a gift would be helpful to a particular patient.