I have been advised by the Irish Prison Service that the Executive Clinical Lead was appointed in July 2018. Following that appointment, the Terms of Reference for the review of prison healthcare were agreed between the Department of Justice and Equality, Department of Health, and the Irish Prison Service in August 2018. A Steering Group with representatives from all three organisations was established, and has since considered the requirements for a Health Needs Assessment of the Irish Prison Service.
This assessment will determine the health status of prisoners, the need and demand for healthcare services, while also establishing the current level of healthcare service provision in prisons. It is proposed that this assessment will outline current and future health needs and make recommendations, based on best international practice, to the Steering Group on the future development of health and personal social services. Arrangements to ensure that the public procurement process for the expertise required to complete the Health Needs Assessment are in place. This process has now been advertised, with a closing date in July 2019.