To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the vulnerability of the prison population to covid-19 taking into account factors such as (a) age, (b) pre-existing health conditions and (c) access to healthcare; and what steps his Department has taken to mitigate that risk.
19 May 2020
HMPPS continues to work very closely with Public Health England (PHE), Public Health Wales (PHW) and the NHS to consider the vulnerability of the prison population to the potential impact of COVID-19. Factors considered include the age profile and prevalence of existing medical conditions across the population.
In view of this, in line with PHE guidance, we are implementing a strategy of compartmentalisation in prisons: isolating the symptomatic, shielding the vulnerable (including the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions) and quarantining new arrivals in reverse cohorting units. Modelling by PHE suggests this strategy and has shown early signs of success in limiting deaths and the transmission of the COVID-19 within the estate.