§ Mr. Butler
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons information on the number of doses of drugs administered to inmates of penal establishments became unavailable between the answers to the hon. Member for Warrington, South on 20 January 1988,Official Report, columns 706–8 and on 26 June, Official Report, column 475.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
Statistics relating to the number of doses of medicines administered to prisoners in all establishments in England and Wales were last published in the Report on the Work of the Prison Department 1985/86 (Cm. 11) They were partly estimated because some prisons were unable to furnish the required information. Since corresponding information for 1986–87 was given to my hon. Friend in 1988 in respect of certain establishments an increasing number of prison pharmacies have failed to provide local statistics owing to staffing difficulties.
A further factor has been the increasing diversity in prison medicine regimes. This development has led us to reassess the value of the statistics for management purposes and to accept the view expressed by the Social Services Committee in 1986—third report from the Social Services Committee, Session 1985–86: "Prison Medical Service"—that their publication serves no useful purpose.
In the light of these factors central collection of these statistics has been discontinued.