HL Deb 17 July 1995 vol 566 cc6-7WA
Lord Brain

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In the light of the most recent suicide in Exeter Prison, whether they are satisfied that all the recommendations of the independent review into previous suicides at that prison promised by the Director General of the Prison Service [HL Deb, col. WA 86, 26/7/94] have been implemented.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch)

Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord Brain from the Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Derek Lewis, dated 17/7/95.

Lady Blatch has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the recommendations of the independent review into suicides at Exeter prison.

I share the dismay expressed by the governor and staff at Exeter prison about the recent tragic death of Graham Harries, who was on remand there. An enquiry into the circumstances leading to his death is being conducted by John Lawrence, the governor of Dartmoor, who is due to submit his report by 14 July.

Dr. Mary Piper MSc FRCP visited Exeter prison in 1994 to review the existing arrangements for the treatment of potentially suicidal prisoners and to advise the governor on whether they could be improved. Dr. Piper concluded that the commitment, expertise and professionalism of the staff at Exeter were excellent and was struck by their concern for the welfare of the inmates.

Dr. Piper's report contained 35 recommendations, of which 30 have now been implemented. She has now been asked to visit the prison again, during the week commencing 17 July, to look at the medical aspects of the decision to allocate Mr. Harries to Exeter, as well as to review the procedures which were followed after his reception there.

This will also give her the opportunity to review progress on the remaining recommendations in her original report.