Skip to main content

Detainees: Mental Illness

Question for Home Office

UIN 40871, tabled on 20 July 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people with a diagnosed mental health illness were held in (a) an immigration removal centre and (b) a short term holding facility in each year since 2010.

Answered on

5 September 2022

The Home Office does not hold this information centrally. Healthcare services in all immigration removal centres (IRCs) in England are commissioned by NHS England. At Dungavel IRC in Scotland, and Larne House Short Term Holding Facility in Northern Ireland, healthcare is commissioned by the service providers.

We take the health and welfare of those detained in our care very seriously, and all individuals who are detained have access to medical care. All detained individuals entering an IRC receive a healthcare screening within two hours of their arrival, which identifies any immediate or long-term healthcare risks. Unless they decline, individuals in IRCs are given an appointment with a doctor within 24 hours. Clinical pathways into other healthcare services are initiated at this point depending on the outcomes of the reception screen, including into mental health services. Furthermore, all centres have mental health in-reach services available.

In accordance with the adults at risk in immigration detention policy, individuals considered to be vulnerable, including those suffering from mental health conditions, will be detained only when the vulnerability considerations in their particular case are outweighed by the immigration considerations.

All Home Office staff working in the detention system and IRC staff employed by our commercial suppliers are given training and support to identify and act upon indicators of vulnerability, including mental health issues.

Answered by

Home Office