§ Mr. Douglas-Mann
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many beds are available in prison hospitals; how many State registered nurses and State enrolled nurses, respectively, are employed by the prison service to treat patients in such hospitals; and how these figures compare with the relevant figures for the National Health Service.
§ Dr. Summerskill:
On 31st December 1977, the latest date for which figures are available, the total number of hospital beds in all prison service establishments in England and Wales was 2,191. A nursing complement consisting of 124382W
two in November. In 11 cases the inquests have not yet been held. Information for the remaining 40 cases is given below
State registered nurses, 62 State enrolled nurses and 23 nursing auxiliaries is mainly concentrated in the four establishments with surgical units and in those for women. In addition, there are some 750 hospital officers trained to provide basic nursing care and to assist medical officers in the treatment of patients.
As prison hospitals are used extensively to provide treatment which, outside prison, would not normally require admission to hospital and as seriously ill prisoners are usually transferred to National Health Service hospitals for treatment, their resources are not comparable with those of the National Health Service.