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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Cumbrian jail staff training in suicide prevention

Suicide prevention training could soon be provided to staff at Cumbria’s only jail.

NHS Cumbria, which provides healthcare services at the prison, revealed its ambitions for Haverigg prison following a damning report regarding the welfare of children and young people in custody.

Published by INQUEST and the Prison Reform Trust yesterday, the report comes 10 years after the death of Joseph Scholes. The 16-year-old died at Stoke Heath Young Offender Institution in 202, and there was widespread calls for a public inquiry.

This latest report reveals that inquiry never took place, and since then nine children and 191 young people have died in prison or in a secure training centre.

Deborah Coles, co-director of INQUEST said: “These deaths are the most extreme outcome of a system that fails some of society’s most troubled and disadvantaged children and young people.

“This shocking death toll has been obscured for far too long and for the first time, we now have a clear picture of the extent of the problem and the fatal consequences of placing vulnerable young people in unsafe institutions ill equipped to deal with their complex needs.”

HMP Haverigg was praised by the chief inspector of prisons for work with inmates susceptible to self-harm and at risk of committing suicide – although Nick Hardwick also criticised the “levels of violence and bullying” at the jail.

A spokeswoman for NHS Cumbria said: “NHS Cumbria is looking to provide suicide prevention training to staff at the prison.”

The Mental Health Team in HMP Haverigg is employed by Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and alcohol and drug treatment services are provided by Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. Both are commissioned by NHS Cumbria.

All inmates with a diagnosis of a psychosis will be seen directly by a member of the mental health team.

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