§ Miss Widdecombe
Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the temporary Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Richard Tilt to Mr. Tom Cox, dated 1 November 1995:The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about policy on the support of local community health councils working with health care services in the Prison Service.276WThe local community health councils are groups of lay people who operate in the National Health Service. They have a wide remit which involves among other things, inspection of hospital services and patient advocacy.A similar function is carried out within prisons by Boards of Visitors, which are appointed by and report directly to the Home Secretary. All aspects of prison life including prison health care centres are open to Boards of Visitors and they fulfil the same role as the local community health councils with regard to prisoners.