HL Deb 11 June 1992 vol 537 cc86-7WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How they reconcile the statement in the White Paper Custody, Care and Justice (cm 1647) that "prisoners should expect the same standards of health care as those provided by the National Health Service" with the opinion expressed by the Minister responsible for prisons, Mr. Peter Lloyd, in a letter of 19th May (ref PDG 92 327/100/15 PO 07683/92) that "I do not think general statements comparing prison health care services with those of the NHS are helpful".

Earl Ferrers

Both statements need to be seen in context. The first is the opening sentence to a section of the White Paper which goes on to propose changes which will bring health services in prisons into closer alignment with the NHS, thereby helping, in a specific and practical way, to achieve NHS standards. In his letter my honourable friend acknowledged that both the Health Care Service for Prisoners and the NHS have problems which are being addressed. It was against that background that he questioned the usefulness of general statements of comparison.