HC Deb 09 February 2004 vol 417 cc1432-3W
Mrs. Gillan

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will change the position whereby a prison officer who has been wounded by a prisoner cannot be told whether that prisoner is HIV positive or carrying hepatitis. [152712]

Paul Goggins

As in the national health service, health information is collected in prisons in confidence and may normally be disclosed only with the consent of the person concerned. Prison establishments have been instructed that, where such consent is not given, the confidentiality of prisoners known to be infected with HIV or hepatitis must be protected.

Some prisoners will be unaware of their own medical status. Prison staff have therefore been advised that, in all risk situations, they should proceed on the assumption that any body fluids may be infectious and that universal routine precautions should always be taken.

The Prison Service's "Health Services for Prisoners" Standard (July 2002) requires all establishments to make sure that written information on communicable disease control policy is available to staff and prisoners, including protocols for the provision of post-exposure prophylaxis. The usual practice would be for the injured person to attend a local hospital for counselling, assessment and, if clinically indicated, treatment.

Mr. Wyatt

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when the prison officers Mr. Rowland, Mr. Kerry and Mr. Watkins will be allowed back to work; [150817]

(2) for what reason prison officers Mr. Rowland, Mr. Kerry and Mr. Watkins are suspended; and if he will make a statement. [150819]

Paul Goggins

[holding answer 26 January 2004]: Following the end of the criminal trial against Mr. Rowland, Mr. Kerry and Mr. Watkins, the Governor of Elmley will now carry out a review in the case of each of the prison officers, based on all the information available, to see what further action should be taken. The review will be completed as quickly as possible.

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