A whole new meaning to sick perverts
Hamish Hutchinson • Published 20 Jul 2012 09:00
Local health board could be forced to foot bill of Glenochil's ageing sex offender population
FORTH Valley health board could face a hefty pharmacy bill due to an influx of sex offenders at Glenochil, a report has warned.
The Glenochil Visiting Committee annual report 2011/12 revealed demand on the health service had "increased hugely" since the initial prisoner transfer from Peterhead.
The committee warned that the on-site health centre bill could rise even further after the second intake of sex offenders.
It said this was due to sex offenders commonly being older and more susceptible to chronic health issues.
The report read, "The demand on services has increased hugely since the sex offender population arrived. They tend to be considerably older and have more chronic health and mobility problems.
"This has resulted in an increased pharmacy bill which could have an impact on the local health board. This bill will continue to increase as the sex offender population is about to increase from 25 per cent to more than 50 per cent of Glenochil's population."
One hundred and fifty of sex offenders were transferred from Peterhead, which formerly held and tried to treat Scotland's most dangerous sex offenders, in October 2010.
A further 150 arrived at Glenochil in May - meaning half of the prison now accommodates 300 of the 650 sex offenders in the system.
The Scottish Prison Service (SPS) said that while demand for some health services had increased due to the change in prisoner population, other pressures had dropped.
Health boards took over responsibility for delivering healthcare services in prisons from the SPS in November last year.
The visiting committee commended health centre staff for providing "very high quality care" during the prison population shake-up.
However it blasted prison bosses for an insufficent number of disabled cells, adding that some were "not fit for purpose" for certain medical conditions.
It said cells were too small to accommodate medical equipment which prevented staff from offering care to dying prisoners.
Robert Freebairn, committee chairman wrote, "Compassionate release has become increasingly difficult and there have been some distressing situations when prisoners have been sent back to the prison from hospital for palliative care which is necessarily limited.
"This will be exacerbated by the overall increase in the age of the prison population."
An SPS spokesman responded, "Management at HMP Glenochil are actively engaged with the NHS to replicate the level of service available outwith the prison."
This article appeared in Alloa & Hillfoots Advertiser 18 Jul 12
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