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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-14436: Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 6 February 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what guidance it provides to healthcare practitioners to ensure that survivors of sexual violence receive healthcare that is sensitive to their needs.

Answered by: Shona Robison 22 February 2018

Healthcare and Forensic Medical Services Standards for people who have experienced rape, sexual assault or child sexual abuse were published by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, in December 2017. These widely available standards are an important step toward ensuring that, working in collaboration with partner agencies, consistent high quality trauma informed care is provided by Health Boards throughout Scotland. Standardising the quality of care offered will further ensure the timely collection of high quality evidence to support any criminal justice proceedings.

The Taskforce for the improvement of services for adults and children who have experienced rape and sexual assault, established by the Scottish Government, and chaired by the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, has set out key priorities areas for delivery within its five year work plan. These include developing the Quality Indicators which will underpin the standards and the development of clinical pathways and guidance to clinical practitioners delivering these services.

NHS Education for Scotland has also been commissioned by the Scottish Government to provide portable education and trauma-informed training with the aim of increasing the number of particularly female physicians who are able to undertake forensic medical examinations. NES have also been funded to provide mentoring, peer support and continuous professional development for those new to the service, as well as experienced forensic physicians already undertaking this work. Feedback from a reference group of organisations who represent the views of those with lived experience informs all aspects of the work of the Taskforce.

The Taskforce’s 5 year work plan can be accessed here: 

The HIS standards can be accessed here: