Under consideration PE1900: Access to prescribed medication for detainees in police custody

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ensure that all detainees in police custody can access their prescribed medication, including methadone, in line with existing relevant operational procedures and guidance.

Previous action taken

I have written to Jamie Halco Johnston MSP who spoke to Humza Yousaf, who confirmed that detainees in police custody should have access to their prescribed methadone.

I have also written to the Chief Executive of the local NHS Board who said it was not their policy to treat detainees in accordance with Official Guidance, and contrary to the Mandela Rules 24-25.

I also wrote to the Chief Constable of Police Scotland who stated it wasn’t his problem.

Background information

Police Scotland standing operating procedures says that, as long as it is safe and appropriate to do so, detainees should have prescribed medication continued whilst in police custody including the consideration of opiate substitution therapy such as methadone. The NHS delivers that care.

Humza Yousaf said that this is what should be happening, however, the Chief Executive of the local NHS Board confirmed that it was not their policy to treat detainees.

I am angry that detainees are not being treated in accordance with Official Guidance nor The Mandela Rules, Rules 24 and 25. I believe that this actually breaks Article 3 of the Human Rights Act.

I therefore want the Scottish Government to make sure that detainees are being given their prescribed methadone, as they would in the community, or is prison, in accordance with the Official Guidance.

  • Created by Kevin John Lawson
  • Considered from 14 September 2021

This petition is now under consideration by the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee

Find out about the Citizen Participation and Public Petitions Committee’s discussion of this petition

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