Funding for nurse sexual offence examiners
Forensic Medical Services Bill progresses.
Victims of rape and sexual assault across Scotland are a step closer to being able to use forensic medical examination services without first having to report a crime.
The Forensic Medical Services Bill will enable victims to access healthcare and refer themselves for a forensic medical examination without having to go to the police.
The Bill, which passed Stage 1 of the parliamentary process, introduces clear legal responsibilities for health boards to provide victims with direct access to forensic medical examination services and to retain certain evidence.
Additional funding of £50,000 has also been announced for 20 priority places on a new Postgraduate Qualification course for nurse sexual offence examiners at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, which begins in January 2021. This is the first qualification of its kind in Scotland and could help pave the way for nurses undertaking the role of sexual offence examiner in future.
Last November, the Scottish Government announced £200,000 for a related initiative for appropriately qualified and experienced nurses to undertake forensic medical examinations of victims of sexual crime and give evidence in court, something only doctors can currently do.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman yesterday said:
“I am very pleased to announce this additional funding to support work already underway to develop the role of nurse sexual offence examiners in Scotland. Our ambition is to create a multi-disciplinary workforce for the future which is vital to supporting the sustainability of forensic medical examination services, particularly in rural and island communities.
“The Forensic Medical Services Bill ensures the choice to self-refer for examination is available consistently across Scotland. We hope that people who might currently be reluctant to make a police report are encouraged to access appropriate NHS services and get the support they need at a time of significant trauma.”
Interim Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith yesterday said:
“I am fully supportive of the proposal to develop the role of nurse Sexual Offence Examiners in Scotland and welcome the decision to allocate Taskforce funding for priority places on the new Post Graduate Qualification course.
“Having access to this qualification in Scotland supports our ambition to enhance the patient experience through the provision of high quality, person-centred and trauma informed care.”
The Chief Medical Officer for Scotland provides national leadership for the Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce, which is backed by £8.5 million of Scottish Government funding over three years, to support Health Boards to provide consistent, trauma informed healthcare and forensic medical services and access to recovery for anyone who has experienced rape or sexual assault.
A key priority for the CMO Taskforce is to support health boards to develop a multi-disciplinary workforce to enable appropriately qualified and experienced nurses to undertake forensic medical examinations of victims of sexual crime and give evidence in court. A new Postgraduate Qualification course, Advanced Forensic Practice, commencing January 2021, has been developed at Queen Margaret University.
Latest News from
More than 38,000 automatic payments help families with the costs of early learning and starting school26/09/2023 15:05:00
Simpler social security system saves families time.
Cyber resilience and the third sector - risks, challenges and opportunities: research report26/09/2023 13:05:00
This research has been commissioned to provide the Scottish Government with a more developed understanding of the cyber resilience maturity of the Scottish Third Sector.
Attainment Scotland Fund - process evaluation - Scottish Attainment Challenge: local authority leads survey report 2022-202325/09/2023 15:05:00
This output of the new Attainment Scotland Fund evaluation strategy reports on data gathered through a survey of Scottish Attainment Challenge local authority leads to gain an understanding of the processes and early implementation of the refreshed Attainment Scotland Fund in 2022-2023.
Suicide Bereavement Support Service: evaluation report - year 225/09/2023 13:05:00
This report covers Year 2 of the multi-year evaluation of the Suicide Bereavement Support Service (SBSS).
Investing in nature22/09/2023 13:05:00
Over £3 million has been distributed to nature projects across Scotland to help them scale up their conservation work and ensure the benefits are shared with local communities.
Agreement powering onshore wind development21/09/2023 16:20:00
Enhanced commitment by developers to community benefits.
Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 - operation and effect 2018 to 2023: report21/09/2023 15:05:00
The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Act 2012 allows the Scottish Parliament to set a price below which alcohol cannot be sold.