HC Deb 12 February 2004 vol 417 c1713W
Mrs. Brooke

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many pregnant women there are in prison; how many there were in each of the last five years; what policies the Prison Service has in place for the care and treatment of pregnant women; and whether these policies cover(a) dietary requirements, (b) access to showers and (c) requirements for the safe and respectful transfer of pregnant prisoners. [154218]

Paul Goggins

Precise information on the number of pregnant women in prison is not available, but recent estimates based on a survey suggest that at any one time about 120 women prisoners are pregnant.

Prison Service healthcare departments liaise with local NHS midwifery services and antenatal care is normally provided by midwives from the local NHS Trusts. The objective remains that these women have the same access to these services as the local population. The care plan for them will include diet and hygiene provision in line with the NHS policy.

The escorting procedures for pregnant women is covered by the Prison Service Security Manual and, where a woman's pregnancy is known to a prison, the prison is expected to assess the appropriate means of transport for her. This can involve the use of a private vehicle.