Paramedics called to prison twice a day
Ambulance call-outs to a prison that serves Shropshire have rocketed with paramedics attending almost twice a day.
Crews were sent to HMP Featherstone on 92 occasions from April 1 to May 23 this year.
It marks a huge increase from the previous financial year when paramedics attended 267 times over the 12-month period. Over the whole of 2014/15, crews were called on just 127 occasions to the jail, which sits close to the M54.
The figures released by West Midland Ambulance Service also revealed an increase in call-outs at other prisons in the region.
The statistics do not reveal how many call-outs related to prisoners or staff, or how many of the call-outs were related to violent incidents.
At HMP Stafford, crews were called 24 times over the 54-day period. There were 15 incidents at Shropshire’s Stoke Heath Prison.
This is an increase from the past two financial years, when crews were sent out 97 and 99 times over the period respectively.
Of those call-outs at Featherstone, 19 have resulted in conveyance to hospital this year. In the previous year, 118 were taken to hospital, with 71 people taken the year before.
Paramedics have taken 15 people from Stafford Prison this year, compared to 75 last year and 77 the year before.
The figures come after the Shropshire Star revealed that jails have been forced to deal with a rise in violence over the past 12 months, with 68 incidents of “concerted indiscipline” recorded.
An incident is recorded as concerted indiscipline if it involves two or more prisoners acting together to defy a lawful instruction or against the requirements of the regime of the establishment. This includes major disturbances, such as riots.
In the West Midlands, there were 16 incidents in 2012, 19 in 2013, 27 in 2014 and 22 last year.
HMP Brinsford in Featherstone was the prison which had the most incidents with 19, while prisoners in Stoke Heath, near Market Drayton, and Oakwood, Featherstone, were involved in 15 and 14 incidents respectively.
The National Offender Management Service introduced a ‘new enhanced incident reporting standard’ last summer to gain a better understanding of the scale of the problem.
West Midlands Ambulance Service could not comment on why there had been such an increase in calls but Jamie Arrowsmith, of West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “We treat every call as an emergency, we get around 3,000 a day, whether its from a prison or anywhere else. We have to treat every single one the same.”