HC Deb 25 May 1999 vol 332 cc75-6W
Mr. Stinchcombe

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many doses of prescription-only(a) psychotropic, (b) hypnotic, (c) other drugs acting on the central nervous system and (d) other drugs were prescribed in each prison holding female prisoners in the most recent year for which figures are available. [84946]

Mr. George Howarth

The information requested is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Pharmaceuticals are generally purchased locally and managed using a number of systems. Also, prescription records are kept within individual prisoner medical files, making it difficult to aggregate information about total usage of individual drugs, or families of drugs, in a meaningful way.

The Prison Service, in deciding on the range of management information about health care activity that is collected from prisons, tries to strike a balance between the costs involved, including the administrative burden on prison staff, and the possible benefits. However, increasing use of Information Technology offers the opportunity to broaden the range of statistics that can be readily available and this matter is kept under review.