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Baroness Knight of Collingtree: My Lords, did the Minister mean to imply that there will be no action until the public's voice has been heard? He has mentioned consultation twice. How is it being carried out and when should we expect to know the result?

Lord Warner: My Lords, we have been through a process of extensive consultation, which has still not been completed. There are questionnaires on websites; 1,000 people met in Birmingham from all over England 10 days ago, when their views were taken on a wide range of issues, including end-of-life issues; and there have been regional consultations. There are many opportunities to find out what we have been doing on the Department of Health website, which the noble Baroness can read if she wishes to do so. Those consultations will lead to a White Paper at the turn of the year, when all will be made clear.

Lord Laming: My Lords, it is encouraging to hear the Minister paying tribute to the remarkable contribution that volunteers make to the hospice movement both in bedded units and in people's homes. Does he agree that there is a danger of volunteers being exploited, and that far too much of their time is diverted into fundraising when they would be much better employed supporting people with special needs?

Lord Warner: My Lords, there is always a balance to be struck. As a former chairman of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, I know that the
 
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voluntary sector often strikes the balance between fundraising and service provision very well. It is in the nature of the voluntary sector that a degree of fundraising goes on—that is what makes it the voluntary sector. I pay tremendous tribute to its work on palliative care; long may it continue.

Lord Lyell of Markyate: My Lords, would it be wholly unjust of noble Lords listening to the Minster's answers if we had the impression that this widespread consultation and the wait for a White Paper might involve a small element of treading water? Will the Minister take care to listen to those professionals in the day-to-day care of the elderly in hospital, who know how badly the opportunity for further palliative care at home is needed? Can he find a quicker way of providing money for that?

Lord Warner: My Lords, one of the features of this Government—and the reason they have been re-elected three times—is that they listen. I note that the two candidates for the leadership of the noble and learned Lord's party seem to be learning some of those lessons.

Lord Patel: My Lords, will the Minister confirm that the Government and Marie Cure Cancer Care are discussing extending the Delivering Choice programme to a further 11 sites, to improve end-of-life care for patients, irrespective of their diagnosis? When are the chosen centres likely to be announced?

Lord Warner: My Lords, the initiative referred to by the noble Lord has been discussed, and will continue to be discussed between departmental officials and Marie Curie Cancer Care. The initiative has been taken by Marie Cure itself, which is in the driving seat in terms of how rapidly it wishes to roll it out. We shall have to wait until the consultation process is completed before deciding how we spend the money promised in our election manifesto.

Earl Ferrers: My Lords—

The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos): My Lords, we are into the twenty-third minute.

Prisoners: Use of Restraint

2.59 pm

Baroness Neuberger: asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): My Lords, the secure training centre operators have given full co-operation to the panel of experts appointed by the Youth Justice Board to review the restraint techniques used in secure
 
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training centres. The panel met at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre on 10 March this year and sought the views of staff and trainees on restraint methods. The Government see no reason to review the contracts.

Baroness Neuberger: My Lords, I thank the Minister for her reply. I take it, therefore, that she regards last week's article in the Guardian as mistaken and wrong. Further, does she think that there is an argument for further investigation of the use of various kinds of restraint techniques, particularly on young people who are in the care of the state in our secure training centres?

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I am afraid that I did not have the advantage of reading all of the Guardian article. Let me reassure the noble Baroness, however, that I know of the concern that was expressed, and the matter appears to have been inaccurately reported. For the purposes of clarity, I should say that Rebound did not refuse outright to admit the two people; it asked for a postponement of the visit until the Crown Prosecution Service had reached a decision in the Gareth Myatt case. Those two people had produced the original report and, on the advice of lawyers, that was the position taken. I reassure the House that there is an ongoing, wider review on the use of pain techniques.

Lord Renton: My Lords, should not the Home Office team investigating the use of restraint on teenage prisoners be able to apply a universal system without any variation of the contracts with which various prisons or training centres are required to comply? Should there not be a systematic universal system for dealing with this matter?

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, we have clear guidelines on the matter. I reassure noble Lords that the panel of experts was appointed by the Youth Justice Board, and it commissioned the consultants to review the operation in each of the centres. This they did, and they have reported.

The Earl of Listowel: My Lords, does the Minister agree that the better trained and supervised the prison officers working directly with children in young offender institutions and secure training centres are, the better equipped they are to intervene early and de-escalate situations before they get out of hand and force needs to be used? I welcome the introduction last year of a seven-day training course for prison officers to train other prison officers in the needs of children, but is the Minister aware of the view of the chair of the Youth Justice Board that that is only the most elementary introductory training for prison officers to learn about children's needs? What steps is she taking to improve that training?

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I agree with the noble Earl that enhanced training to meet the needs of young people in our youth estate is extremely
 
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important. That training is taking place, and we intend to intensify it. Further, it is being deepened throughout the estate.

Viscount Bridgeman: My Lords, can the Minister specifically assure the House that training will rigorously cover resuscitation techniques when there are vital signs that the child is in trouble and that the treatment can be halted if necessary?

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, that basic training is very much part of the training that takes place. I certainly undertake to check its precise nature and to write to noble Lords if there is greater information about it. However, I reassure noble Lords that the care that needs to be taken with young people in such situations is absolutely understood. One of the reasons for driving forward the review is that we want to make sure that we have the best possible means of keeping young people safe and restraining them in a way that is appropriate.

Lord Dholakia: My Lords, the Minister may not deem it necessary to review the contractual arrangements in light of the use of restraint, but will she ask Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons to examine the excessive use of restraint, particularly in secure training centres, and will she ensure that the Home Office has on no account abrogated its responsibility for the welfare of that individual?

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: My Lords, I assure the noble Lord that excessive use of restraint has not taken place. The Home Office is vigorous in its monitoring to make sure that what happens in the juvenile estate is appropriate. I am absolutely confident that the inspectorate will take those issues very seriously in the discharge of its duty.

Lord Elton: My Lords, will the Minister undertake to see that a senior member of the Home Office is sent to Norway to study the training of those who are in charge of custody of adults and children there and report back fairly soon to the Home Secretary with information about how they do it, which is infinitely better than how we do it and takes a great deal longer?


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