Prisoners waiting days for life-saving pills

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SERIOUSLY ill inmates at Doncaster Prison are being left to wait days for life-saving medication, worried visitors have warned.

The concerns are raised in the privately run jail’s Independent Monitoring Board’s annual report to the home secretary, which has just been published, which also warns two people died inside the jail over the year.

The 21-page report says the board has received no explanation for the failures, despite having raised the issue.

The report warns: “Problems have been continual with regard to medication and pharmacy supplies.

“Prisoners are submitting repeat prescriptions for life-saving medication and, on some occasions, have to wait days without any medication at all due to there being no supply within the prison.

“This is not acceptable and is affecting the lives of the prisoners who require their medication daily.”

It goes on to warn of concerns over the handling of repeat prescriptions for inmates in the Marshgate jail, stating that on some occasions they end up being “lost” and the prisoner then has to wait for a long period of time until it is rectified, again leaving them with no medication.

“These two serious problems need urgently addressing,” the report warns.

The report also reveals two people died in custody in the prison between October 2009 and September 2010, the period which it covers.

But it praises a zero tolerance policy at the prison, home to 1,145 inmates, for its effect on reducing drug abuse and violence, leading to what it describes as a considerable decrease.

It says self harm had not been falling to the same extent, and there had been cases of single individuals trying to cause themselves injury on as many 20 occasions.

No comment was available from Doncaster Prison.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said the prison would not comment before the Home Secretary had received their response to the report.