McArthur: Missed Health Screenings at HMP Grampian “Deeply Worrying”

Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has described incidents of missed health screenings for islands prisoners at HMP Grampian as “deeply worrying”, following the publication of a full inspection report on the facility today.

The report noted that prisoners who arrived after 9:30pm from the islands had to wait until the morning to be assessed, which meant that they didn’t always receive essential prescribed medication on time. It also failed to comply with the Talk To Me (TTM) Strategy, which assesses prisoners for their risk of self-harm or suicide.

Mr McArthur commented:

“Newly admitted prisoners travelling from the islands deserve the same level of care and access to routine assessments as anyone else. It is deeply worrying to hear of times when this hasn’t happened and the duty of care has not been fulfilled.

“Sending prisoners straight to cells overnight without appropriate access to medicine or support because of staffing shortages is nothing short of irresponsible. We know that these people are especially vulnerable already.

“Earlier this year, Scottish Liberal Democrat research revealed the number of self-harm incidents in Scottish prisons has sky rocketed, as have the rates of assault.

“This report must prompt the Justice Secretary to take urgent action to tackle overcrowding and chronic understaffing in the prison estate. The government cannot continue to gamble when it comes to people’s health and wellbeing.”

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