§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consideration he has given in the light of the Woolf inquiry report into the reorganisation of the prison service to integrate the prison medical service in the national health service.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
We are committed to securing real and lasting improvements in the quality of patient care for the prison population. A recent efficiency scrutiny of the prison medical service provides an opportunity to bring this about. The scrutiny report found that the PMS should move closer to the national health service, but that it should remain managed as part of the prison service as a whole. We have accepted this finding, which is in keeping with a number of earlier studies of medical services in prison. Follow-up work to the scrutiny is well in hand and a consultation exercise about to begin will help determine the means of moving closer to the NHS.