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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 October 2006, 23:25 GMT 00:25 UK
Yarl's Wood 'failing' detainees
Yarl's Wood detention centre
The report made recommendations to improve services
A catalogue of failures in the healthcare provided at an asylum centre has been highlighted in a report by the chief inspector of prisons.

The report said healthcare provision at Yarl's Wood centre in Bedfordshire was "not geared" to meeting the needs of detainees held for long periods.

It said the Immigration Directorate was "unresponsive" about concerns at the effects of prolonged detention.

The Home Office said it was drawing up an action plan to meet the concerns.

The report, written by Anne Owers, was drawn up following concerns at the treatment of two asylum seekers from Uganda, Sophie Odogo and Enid Ruhango, who went on hunger strike against their detention.

I take these recommendations very seriously
Liam Byrne, Home Office minister

The report questions the handling of the hunger strike and said the immigration service had "no detailed clinical protocol" on managing such incidents.

It said the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) attempted to remove one of the women despite a letter from the centre doctor which said "an attempt to deport her now... would almost definitely render her unfit to fly".

Inspectors found that the "healthcare service was not geared to meet the needs of those with serious health problems".

It also found healthcare was undermined by "inadequate staff training".

The report did, however, find "individual healthcare staff sought to offer committed and caring treatment".

'Shocking inadequacies'

One of the people who called for the report was Alistair Burt, MP for North East Bedfordshire, whose constituency includes Yarl's Wood.

Following publication of the report, he told BBC News he was "shocked and genuinely appalled at the depth of failures revealed and inadequacies of those with care and responsibility for detainees".

Home Office Minister Liam Byrne said the report "recognised many strengths on which to build".

"I take these recommendations very seriously and an action plan responding in detail to them is currently being drawn up."

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19 Jun 04 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
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16 Sep 03 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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