Chief Medical Officer’s Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce

Overview

This group was set up for the improvement of healthcare and forensic medical services for adults, children and young people who have experienced rape, sexual assault or child sexual abuse.

In March 2017, the then Chief Medical Officer for Scotland (CMO) Dr Catherine Calderwood, was asked by the Scottish Ministers to establish a taskforce to provide national leadership for the improvement of healthcare and forensic medical services for adults, children and young people who have experienced rape, sexual assault or child sexual abuse.

In April 2020, Professor Sir Gregor Smith, the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, took over the role as the Chair of the taskforce.

Vision of the taskforce

The taskforce vision is for consistent, person-centred, trauma-informed health care and forensic medical services and access to recovery, for anyone who has experienced rape or sexual assault in Scotland.

The remit of the taskforce is to:

  • work closely with health boards and other multi-agency partners to ensure the timely delivery of person centred, trauma informed services for people of all ages, in line with the taskforce vision and the Healthcare Improvement Scotland Standards
  • oversee the work of the six subgroups and associated expert groups, tasked with the delivery of recommendations one to nine from the HMICS Strategic Overview of Provision of Forensic Medical Services to Victims of Sexual Crime report, 2017 (recommendation ten is led by the National Police Care Network)

Six subgroups have been established under the remit of the taskforce, each leading on the specific area of work. A number of other groups report into the subgroups as shown in the governance diagram.

  • legislation subgroup
  • self-referral subgroup
  • workforce and training subgroup
  • quality Improvement subgroup
  • clinical pathway subgroup
  • delivery and performance subgroup

The taskforce has wide representation from experts, including health, justice, social work, and the third sector partners, such as Rape Crisis Scotland, to ensure the voice of lived experience is heard.

The Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) (Scotland) Act 2021 (the “FMS Act”) came into force on 1 April 2022 and underpins the work of the taskforce. The Act places a statutory duty on health boards to provide forensic medical services for victims of sexual offences. It also establishes a legal framework for consistent access to “self-referral”, where a victim can access healthcare and request a forensic medical examination without first having to make a report to the police. Self-referral will be available to those who are 16 and over, subject to professional judgement.

Self-referral means that people don’t need to be referred by a GP or other healthcare professional to access a Sexual Assault Response Co-ordination Service (SARCS).

A SARCS is available in each health board to address people’s immediate healthcare needs and, if appropriate, to access a forensic medical examination to gather forensic evidence which could help the police to confirm the identity of the person who carried out the assault. The SARCS will keep this evidence for a period of 26 months, in case people want to tell the police at a later date. 

NHS Inform provides information on how to access self-referral services through a new national 24/7/365 telephony service hosted by NHS 24. Information on the service can be found on the NHS website.

A package of resources has been developed in close collaboration with a wide range of multi-agency partners.

Members

  • Professor Sir Gregor Smith, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, Scottish Government
  • Jillian Galloway (Chair of the Self-Referral Subgroup), Head of Health and Community Care Services (North Angus) (Interim), NHS Tayside
  • Greig Chalmers, Head of CMO Policy Division, Scottish Government
  • Anne Armstrong, Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Scottish Government
  • Moira Price, National Procurator Fiscal for Domestic Abuse and Head of Victims and Witnesses Policy Team, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service
  • Anne Neilson, Director of Public Protection, NHS Lothian
  • Professor Amjad Khan, Director of Postgraduate General Practice Education, NHS Education Scotland
  • Carol Rogers, Interim Operations Manager for Biology, Scottish Police Authority
  • Colin Sloey (Chair of the Delivery and Performance Subgroup), National Co-ordinator, Scottish Government
  • Duncan Alcock, Associate Medical Director, NHS The State Hospital
  • Dr Edward Doyle (Chair of the Clinical Pathways Subgroup and CYPEG), Senior Medical Advisor Paediatrics, Scottish Government
  • Dr Fiona Wardell, Standards and Indicators Lead, NHS Health Improvement Scotland
  • Gary Jenkins, Chief Executive, Police Care Network
  • Carole Robinson (Chair of the Legislation Subgroup), Deputy Head of CMO Taskforce Unit, Scottish Government
  • Iona Colvin, Chief Social Work Adviser, Scottish Government
  • Safia Qureshi, Deputy Director of Evidence, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Katie Brown, Equally Safe Policy Co-ordinator, COSLA
  • Emma Kennedy, Gender Based Violence Programme Lead, Public Health Scotland
  • Sandy Brindley, Chief Executive of RCS, Rape Crisis Scotland
  • DCI Sam Faulds, Head of Public Protection, Police Scotland
  • Lesley Swanson, Acting Head of Child Protection Unit, Scottish Government
  • Dr Lindsay Thomson, Medical Director, State Hospitals Board for Scotland
  • Dr Sian Tucker, Deputy Medical Director, NHS National Services Scotland
  • Dr Louise Wilson, Director of Public Health, NHS Orkney
  • Collette MacKenzie (Chair of the Quality Improvement Subgroup), Associate Director, Practitioner & Counter Fraud Services, NHS National Service Scotland
  • Sybil Canavan (Chair of the Workforce and Training Subgroup), Director of Workforce, Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  • Tricia Marwick, Representative of NHS Board Chairs, NHS Fife
  • Carol Potter, Representative of NHS Chief Executives, NHS Fife
  • Helen Haworth, Head of Biology, Scottish Police Authority

1. Subgroup membership may extend to experts/professionals who are not members of the taskforce.

Scottish Government supporting officials

  • Greig Chalmers, Head of CMO Policy Division
  • Vicky Carmichael, Interim Head of CMO Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce
  • Tansy Main, Head of CMO Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce Unit
  • Colin Sloey, National Co-ordinator, CMO Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce Unit
  • Lucy Dexter, Deputy Head of CMO Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce Unit
  • Chloe Poole, Deputy Head of CMO Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce Unit
  • Carole Robinson, Deputy Head of CMO Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce Unit
  • Michelle Harrity, CMO Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce Unit
  • Mark Burgess, CMO Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce Unit
  • Wendy Copeland, Self Referral Policy and Project manager
  • Adam Bircham, CMO Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce Unit
  • Lynda Dobinson, CMO Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce Unit
  • Stefani Dinwoodie, CMO Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce Unit
  • Hannah Taylor, CMO Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce Unit
  • Ryan O’Donnell, CMO Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce Unit
  • Jane Russell, CMO Rape and Sexual Assault Taskforce Unit

Relevant publications

Documents

Policies

Contact

Email: CMOTaskforce.Secretariat@gov.scot

If you would like to see Taskforce minutes prior to 2019, please email the address above. 

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