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Prisons: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN HL5099, tabled on 2 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) prisoners, and (2) staff, were (a) suspected of having, (b) confirmed as having, (3) hospitalised as a result of, and (4) died from, COVID-19 in prisons in England, broken down by region.

Answered on

30 June 2020

The data requested can be found below and is correct as of Friday 19 June.

Please note, for the number of staff suspected of having Covid-19 the guidance was changed on 20 April so that symptomatic staff members could be identified separately. Before 20 April all staff members who were isolating under the PHE guidance were counted and those who were symptomatic could not be identified specifically. This may have slightly overestimated the number of symptomatic staff before 20 April. For some regions this data has been backdated so the total number of staff suspected of having Covid-19 is known.

On 24 April, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, announced the rollout of Covid-19 testing for all essential workers and symptomatic members of their household, including prison staff.

From 15 April, due to the sufficient availability of testing supplies all symptomatic prisoners were tested.

Region

Staff suspected of having Covid-19

Staff confirmed as having Covid-19

Staff hospitalised as a result of Covid-19

Staff deaths as a result of Covid-19

Region1

1,337

150

8

2

Region2

1,126

178

8

-

Region3

1,973

210

13

-

Region4

845

54

6

-

Region5

1,015

71

9

1

Region6

2,417

91

13

3

Region7

2,482

144

10

2

Total

11,195

898

67

8

Region

Prisoners suspected of having Covid-19

Prisoners confirmed as having Covid-19

Prisoners hospitalised as a result of Covid-19

Prisoner deaths as a result of Covid-19

Region 1

612

81

~

2

Region 2

488

58

7

3

Region 3

725

118

10

4

Region 4

455

19

~

3

Region 5

252

18

10

5

Region 6

513

54

9

-

Region 7

419

54

8

4

Total

3,464

402

51

21

Regions by prison group:

Region 1 – Cumbria and Lancashire; Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire

Region 2 – Yorkshire; Tees and Wear

Region 3 – North Midlands; West Midlands; East Midlands

Region 4 – Avon and South Dorset; South Central; Devon and North Dorset

Region 5 – Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk; Hertfordshire, Essex and Suffolk

Region 6 – London; Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Region 7 – Long Term and High Security Estate

Notes

- Staff suspected of having Covid-19 have been calculated as staff who are on sickness absence or showing symptoms. There may be other staff with suspected Covid-19 who are in the self-isolating category not included here.

- Prisoners suspected of having Covid-19 have been calculated as prisoners recorded as displaying symptoms.

- Some staff or prisoners may be counted twice if they have had two periods of symptoms.

- Confirmed staff cases are self-reported.

- Staff and prisoner hospitalisations have been calculated as those who have tested positive and have been hospitalised. The hospitalisation may not have been as a result of Covid-19 in some cases, and there may be other cases where Covid-19 has not been confirmed which are included here.

- These numbers include all historic cases, many of which are now closed.

- Data for staff deaths represents individuals that have been confirmed as having Covid-19, though it is not necessarily the cause of death.

- Data for prisoner deaths represents individuals where Covid-19 is suspected to be the cause.

- These tables include silver command regions 1 to 7 which cover prisons in England, but also include 2 STCs and 1 IRC.

- Staff figures contain both directly and non-directly employed staff.

- The symbol ~ denotes suppressed values of 4 or fewer to avoid the risk of identifying individuals.

- These figures have been drawn from the daily HMPPS Covid-19 reports. Care is taken when processing and analysing the returns but the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

The Ministry of Justice has started publishing a weekly release of Covid-19 related statistics. This includes confirmed Covid-19 cases in prisoners and children in custody; and deaths among prisoners and children in custody where Covid-19 is suspected to be the cause.

The statistics release can be found here each Friday: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hm-prison-and-probation-service-covid-19-statistics

Please note, this publication provides statistics for prisons across England and Wales, the data in the tables above relates to prisons in England only.