The mother of a young woman who killed herself after being sent to a young offenders’ institution has accused prison inspectors of a desperate attempt to cover up failings. 

Linda Allan, whose daughter Katie took her own life in Polmont at the age of 21, said the family were “deeply disappointed” with a report into the institution. 

It came as a major review of mental health provision at Polmont found the “risks and vulnerabilities” of some inmates were not given enough attention, with “systemic” shortcomings in communication between agencies.

The HM Inspectorate of Prisons for Scotland probe was ordered by the Scottish Government following the deaths of Ms Allan and 16-year-old William Lindsay, who took his own life at Polmont 48 hours after being sent there on remand.

It found being traumatised, being young, being held on remand and being in the first three months of custody increase the risk of suicide.

It also pointed to a lack of proactive attention to the needs, risks and vulnerabilities of those on remand and in the early days of custody, and highlighted “the powerfully negative effect of social isolation”.

The review makes more than 80 recommendations, including creating a bespoke suicide and self-harm strategy for the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) and NHS Forth Valley. 

Linda Allan said Katie’s family appreciated “there has been a great deal of work that has gone into the mental health review”. 

However, she hit out at a separate inspection report on Polmont that was also published yesterday. She said: “We are deeply disappointed by HMIPS inspection report, which we see as a missed opportunity and a desperate attempt to cover up the SPS failures which led to our daughter Katie taking her life.”

Solicitor Aamer Anwar, who represents the families of Katie Allan and William Lindsay, said the mental health review was “substantial” but added: “On first reading it paints a picture of widespread failures at all levels of the SPS and NHS.”

An SPS spokesman said: “The Scottish Prison Service takes all instances of self-harm and threats to self-harm very seriously and we constantly review our processes to ensure those at risk are identified and supported effectively.”