Custody healthcare is failing
Posted: January 31, 2014
Posted in: Medical Negligence
A new report has revealed that the Met Police is severely struggling to provide those in custody with adequate medical assistance. With the wellbeing of detainees being a “key priority” of The Met’s, it has been agreed that more has to be done. A London Assembly committee said that there was a 60% shortfall in nursing numbers for the care of people in custody, with The Met being more than 100 nurses short of the 198 it intended to have by 2012.
The report highlighted that the “major problem” was in the recruitment and retaining of nurses working in custody suites. It stated that the severity of the shortage had “increased the risk of a death or serious harm in police custody.” The report worryingly highlighted that in the current financial year, more nurses have left the service than been recruited. It was noted that if this was the case for a regular hospital, there would be a public outcry.
The chair of the Police and Crime Committee, Ms McCartney, commented on the fact that as soon as a member of public is taken into custody, their health and wellbeing is entirely in the hands of the Police. A failure to ensure this would have “catastrophic consequences for detainees and stain the Met’s reputation”.
Since April 2002 there have been a total of 49 deaths in, or following, police custody with The Met. The report has highlighted the urgency of the situation and will require urgent attention.
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