Baroness Randerson – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Randerson on 2015-12-03.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what incentives and performance targets exist to encourage HM Prison Service to improve rates of testing for hepatitis C among prisoners.

Lord Prior of Brampton

Improving the proactive detection, surveillance and management of infectious diseases in prisons is a shared priority for the National Offender Management Service, NHS England and Public Health England, as described in the Second National Partnership Agreement published earlier this year. A copy is attached.

Included within this work programme is implementation of the blood-borne virus (BBV) opt-out testing programme for people in prisons, which includes testing for Hepatitis C virus infection as well as Hepatitis B virus and HIV.

The ambition is to have BBV opt-out testing in all adult prisons in England by end of the financial year 2016-17.

While there are currently no financial incentives or direct performance targets, performance in this activity is measured by NHS England through the collection of data via the Health & Justice Indicators of Performance. The data are used by NHS England commissioners to performance manage healthcare providers in prisons.