Publication - FOI/EIR release

Questions on child deaths at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and child abuse in Scottish Football: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
20 Jan 2020
Questions on child deaths at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and child abuse in Scottish Football: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/201900010585
Date received: 23 Dec 2019
Date responded: 17 Jan 2020
Information requested

1. Did the Scottish Government, any Scottish Government Ministers, any Scottish Government Department, individual, or group send any e mails to any News & Media outlets on the 20th, 21st, 22nd & 23rd of December 2019 regarding any stories about any hospitals or NHS Departments, and in particular, about the deaths of another 3 children in the QEUH?
2. If so, what was the content of these e mails?
3. If so, please make these e mails available to me.

Separately, after the news of yet another accusation of Historical Child Sexual Abuse at Celtic Football Club/Celtic Boys Club, 

1. What is the Scottish Government’s position on the abuse of children in football, and indeed, any sport in Scotland?
2. Do the Scottish Government intend to hold a full and independent public inquiry into such serious issues, so lessons can be learnt, and we don’t see such a major paedophile ring operating within our sport again?
3. Have the Scottish Government had any exchanges if any kind, whether in writing or verbally, with Celtic FC in this matter?
4. If so, please provide copies of all communications.
5. If not, please provide a clear and concise reason why?
6. Have the Scottish Government had any communication with Police Scotland on this matter, in writing or verbally?
7. If so, please provide copies of all communications.
8. If not, please provide a clear and concise reason why?
8. I was previously told that Celtic FC and their insurers were holding their own investigation into historical Child Sexual Abuse at their OWN club, and it had been ongoing for just under 2 years. Has this investigation been concluded yet?
9. If so, when shall we see the outcome of this investigation?
10. If not, when can we expect it to be concluded?
11. Is the Scottish Government satisfied that Child Sexual Abuse is no longer rife in our sport, and if so, what resources/evidence are they basing this on?
12. Finally, please make available ALL communications between the Scottish Government and ALL other departments/groups which involved discussion on historical Child Sex Abuse.

Response

You asked for:

1. Did the Scottish Government, any Scottish Government Ministers, any Scottish Government Department, individual, or group send any e mails to any News & Media outlets on the 20th, 21st, 22nd & 23rd of December 2019 regarding any stories about any hospitals or NHS Departments, and in particular, about the deaths of another 3 children in the QEUH?
2. If so, what was the content of these e mails?
3. If so, please make these e mails available to me.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner’s ‘Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs’ on his website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx.

1. What is the Scottish Government’s position on the abuse of children in football, and indeed, any sport in Scotland?
2. Do the Scottish Government intend to hold a full and independent public inquiry into such serious issues, so lessons can be learnt, and we don’t see such a major paedophile ring operating within our sport again?

https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-19-01618/

3. Have the Scottish Government had any exchanges if any kind, whether in writing or verbally, with Celtic FC in this matter?
4. If so, please provide copies of all communications.
5. If not, please provide a clear and concise reason why?
6. Have the Scottish Government had any communication with Police Scotland on this matter, in writing or verbally?
7. If so, please provide copies of all communications.
8. If not, please provide a clear and concise reason why?
8. I was previously told that Celtic FC and their insurers were holding their own investigation into historical Child Sexual Abuse at their OWN club, and it had been ongoing for just under 2 years. Has this investigation been concluded yet?
9. If so, when shall we see the outcome of this investigation?
10. If not, when can we expect it to be concluded?

The Scottish Government meets regularly with Police Scotland and range of football clubs to discuss many issues, including child protection. To ensure the free and frank exchange of views, the majority of these discussions are not routinely minuted.

As Freedom of Information applies to recorded information, this is a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.

11. Is the Scottish Government satisfied that Child Sexual Abuse is no longer rife in our sport, and if so, what resources/evidence are they basing this on?

We have acted to address issues arising from recent revelations about abuse in sport.

  • In February 2017, the Minister for Public Health and Sport wrote to all sporting governing bodies in Scotland to ask them to reflect on their current policies and procedures and to check that these are adequate to protect children taking part in their sport.
  • In March 2017, the Minister for Public Health and Sport and the Minister for Childcare and Early Years hosted a roundtable discussion with a wide range of bodies to discuss what else could be done to improve our child protection system in Scottish sport. We have made an additional £2 million available to sportscotland to invest in key priorities, including child protection.
  • Funding of £125,000 per year is also provided to Children 1st through sportscotland for training, information and support to sports’ governing bodies through the Safeguarding in Sport service.
  • sportscotland and Children 1st have produced new standards on child wellbeing and protection in sport which is rights-based and child-centred. The standards have been developed by the safeguarding in Sport service to ensure sports organisations adopt best practice in this critical area. All SGBs receiving sportscotland investment have now migrated to the new Standards.

12. Finally, please make available ALL communications between the Scottish Government and ALL other departments/groups which involved discussion on historical Child Sex Abuse.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner’s ‘Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs’ on his website at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/YourRights/Tipsforrequesters.aspx.

About FOI
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG