Section 110 – Medical services in prison
552.Section 110 amends the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1989 and the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 so as to remove the duty on the Scottish Ministers to provide medical services in state run Scottish Prisons and the duty on the contractor to provide these services in contracted out prisons. As a result, the responsibility for providing medical services in all prisons falls to NHS Health Boards under general health legislation.
553.The intention is that subordinate legislation could be used, if considered necessary, to introduce specific provision required to ensure that primary health care services in prisons are equivalent to those available outside prisons. The relevant powers to introduce any such subordinate legislation are found in general health legislation with no further powers being created in section 110 of this Act for this purpose.
554.The amendments made by section 110 require the Scottish Ministers and directors of contracted-out prisons to designate one or more medical officers for each prison, and limits who can be designated as a medical officer. The amendments have the effect that medical officers will no longer be deemed to be prison officers. The other amendments made by section 110 ensure that medical officers designated under these new powers have much the same status within the prison as medical officers appointed under current powers do, for example in relation to searches and restrictions on the disclosure of information.