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Wakefield Prison: Health Services

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 102207, tabled on 12 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many operations for prisoners at HMP Wakefield have been cancelled since March 2020.

Answered on

20 October 2020

Verified data on the number of staff and prisoners that have tested positive for COVID-19 is due to be published in November as part of Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) national COVID-19 statistics on gov.uk. Prisoner data is published monthly. Staff data is published quarterly, the most recent data covers the period up to 31 July 2020.

For the purposes of this data, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. Much of the data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic has been done at pace, with recording practices evolving as we understand more about the requirements and conditions we are facing. In order to present the timeliest information, the data presented has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics. Data in relation to prisoners has been rounded to two significant figures.

For the purposes of prison officer data, this combines the reporting categories for i) operational grades 3-5 and ii) grades deemed as prison officer and above.

The number of prisoners recorded as being tested positive for covid-19 up to 30 September is 630. This number includes 10 cases recorded within the Youth Custody Service.

The number of prison officers recorded as being tested positive for COVID-19 up to 31 July 2020 is 635.

Five prisoners had tested positive at HMP Wakefield in the period up to 30 September.

Three prison officers had tested positive at HMP Wakefield in the period up to 31 July.

HMPPS does not own or centrally collate data on the number of prisoner operations that have been cancelled. This data is owned by the current Healthcare provider at HMP Wakefield - Care UK.

We have robust plans in place to keep prisoners, staff and the public safe, based on the latest Public Health England advice. We continue to monitor the situation across the estate, and should restrictions need to be re-imposed to maintain safety, we will not hesitate to do this. Prisons operate under a National Framework which sets out how restrictions are managed: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-national-framework-for-prison-regimes-and-services.