HC Deb 23 July 1987 vol 120 c352W
Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the level of pastoral care and psychological help to handle stress available to prison officers in the Northern Ireland prison service.

Mr. Stanley

The Prison Department offers prison officers a range of services designed to help those who find it difficult to cope with any personal problems.

It employs trained welfare officers who provide an advisory and guidance service to staff on a wide range of matters and who refer staff to outside agencies or experts for further help. It also obtains advice from the medical advisory service of the Department of Health and Social Services on the health of individual officers and on the occupational health needs of the service. MAS also offers a direct and personal service to staff experiencing health or occupational health problems. More generally management both in the prisons and in headquarters is available to assist individual officers with any problem and can call upon expert medical and other help as necessary.