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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-01908: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 11 August 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what penalties can be applied to a residential care service provider when an older person is injured because of a lack of adequate protection, and under what legislation.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 7 September 2016

All care home residents are entitled to receive high-quality care, support and protection from harm in a safe and secure setting. The penalties which can be placed on a care service provider who fails to provide adequate protection for people in their care include the Care Inspectorate issuing an improvement notice or taking action to cancel registration under Part five of the Public Services Reform (Scotland) Act 2010. Section 315 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 includes an offence which applies where a person with a mental health disorder (including dementia) is ill-treated or wilfully neglected in the course of provision of their care. The current maximum penalty for this offence on indictment is two years' imprisonment.

This is being extended to five years under the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016. Part three of this Act will further protect vulnerable people across our communities through the establishment of offences relating to the ill-treatment or wilful neglect of adults receiving health care or social care. There are two main offences which come into force in April 2017: an offence that applies to care workers, and an offence that applies to care providers. The Act provides penalties which are at an appropriate level proportionate with the breach of trust in such crimes.