Before House of Commons Select Committee on Health and Social Care
Oral evidence session, 3 July, 2:30pm
Room 15, Palace of Westminster

On Tuesday (3 July) INQUEST will be questioned by MPs of the Health and Social Care Committee as part of their inquiry into healthcare in prisons. Rebecca Roberts, INQUEST’s Head of Policy, will be speaking about the effectiveness of prison and healthcare services, with a particular focus on deaths in prison and on post custody supervision.

In their written submission to the Health and Social Care Committee, INQUEST provides evidence about the impact of poor prison healthcare on both physical and mental health, contributing to deaths. An investigation of INQUEST’s case files identifies systemic failings around communication, emergency responses, drugs and wider issues of mental ill-health and healthcare provision.

The evidence draws attention to both self-inflicted and non-self-inflicted deaths in prison, but raises specific concerns about the lack of official attention paid to what the MoJ describe as ‘natural cause’ deaths. INQUEST’s evidence indicates that many deaths are premature, avoidable and far from ‘natural’.

At the evidence session INQUEST is planning to reveal updated figures on the numbers of people being found ‘unresponsive in cell’; and data from an FOI request showing that one person a day is dying whilst on post-release supervision.



For further information, please contact Lucy McKay on 020 7263 1111 or here

To find out more about the Health and Social Care committee inquiry on Healthcare in Prisons, visit the inquiry webpage. The session will be available to watch live here.

The evidence session will hear from 10 witnesses in three separate sessions:

  • Session 1: Sean Cox, Head of Development, User Voice, Hazel Alcraft, Development Officer – Health, Clinks, and Stuart Ware, Chief Executive Officer, Restore
  • Session 2: Rebecca Roberts, Head of Policy, INQUEST, and Elizabeth Moody, Acting Prisons and Probation Ombudsman
  • Session 3: Professor Steve Field, Chief Inspector of General Practice, and, Jan Fooks-Bale, Health & Justice Inspection Manager, Care Quality Commission, and Peter Clarke, Chief Inspector of Prisons, and Paul Tarbuck, former Head of Healthcare Inspection, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons