Healthcare not being provided at immigration holding facilities

Regular healthcare is not being provided at immigration short-term holding facilities despite incidents of self-harm and force, the chief inspector of prisons warned in a report today.

Anne Owers said that conditions at Reliance House and John Lennon airport in Liverpool and Sandford House in Solihull – had improved since she began inspecting such facilities in 2004 but detainees’ healthcare needs were still not being adequately met.

No healthcare providers regularly visited the centres, which are non- residential and hold children and families for short periods of time, and staff relied on the emergency services.

Owers said that she was particularly concerned by the practice due to two incidents of self-harm and two incidents of force having taken place at Reliance House over recent months.

A separate report by Owers on the residential facility at Colnbrook immigration removal centre, also out today, said it benefited from being based in a removal centre because detainees were able to use the centre’s services. However, inspectors also found that detainees spent unacceptably long periods at the facility locked in single rooms and more than a third said they felt unsafe.


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