Anne Owers slams Yarl’s Wood health services

Health services at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre were slammed today by the chief inspector of prisons.

In a report, Anne Owers said the Bedfordshire centre’s health services were not able to meet the needs of people with serious health problems or those held for longer periods.

Owers’ inquiry focused on support and treatment for detainees with mental and traumatic stress disorders, and on issues raised by the management of the medical needs of two female detainees.

It found that the centre’s complex management arrangements – it is run by Global Solutions but health services are contracted to Veritas – made it difficult to establish who was responsible for delivering specific services.

The report also said staff training was not good enough and the provision of mental health services was inadequate.

Home Office minister Liam Byrne said he took the recommendations “very seriously” and that the government was drawing up an action plan in response.

Yarl’s Wood has also faced criticism this year over child welfare concerns, as reported by Community Care.

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