Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Questions (651)

Sorca Clarke

Question:

651. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the ratio of nurses and general practitioners to prisoners in each prison in February 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14486/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

Provision of safe and secure custody and dignity of care to persons in the penal system in Ireland is a priority for my Department and the Prison Service.

I understand that the prison healthcare service provides prisoners with access to the same range of quality of healthcare services as available under the medical card scheme in the community. The Prison Service Health Care Standards guide the provision of these health services to prisoners, reflecting the prison context and good clinical practice. These Standards have been published and further information is available on the Irish Prison Service website www.irishprisons.ie.

In total, I am informed that the Irish Prison Service currently has 13.6 General Practitioners (WTE) and 141 nurses employed across the prisons estate.

The following table, furnished to me by the Irish Prison Service, sets out the information requested by the Deputy on the ratio of nurses and general practitioners in Irish prisons and represents the position as at 29 February 2020.

It is important to note however that the Irish Prison Service states that the level of healthcare resources assigned to an individual prison is determined by the clinical needs of the population and is not solely based on the number of prisoners in that individual institution.

Prison

Number in Custody

Nurses

Ratio

Nurses to prisoners

General Practitioners

Ratio

GPs to Prisoners

Portlaoise

241

8

1:30

1

1:241

Shelton Abbey

100

2

1:50

0.23 WTE

1:435

Dochas Centre

148

7

1:21

0.5

1:296

Wheatfield

536

18

1:30

1

1:536

Arbour Hill

136

6

1:23

0.26 WTE

1:523

Cloverhill

400

18

1:22

2

1:200

Mountjoy

704

25

1:28

2.4

1:293

Midlands

889

22

1:40 *supported by 5 Health Care Assistants

3

1:296

Limerick

266

11

1:24

0.43 WTE

1:619

Cork

327

11

1:30

1

1:327

Castlerea

323

11

1:29

1

1:323

Loughan House

135

2

1:68

0.77 WTE

1:175