Publication - Consultation analysis

Equally Safe consultation: analysis of responses

Published: 29 Aug 2019
Directorate:
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Health and social care
ISBN:
9781839600647

Analysis of responses to our consultation on legislation to improve forensic medical services for victims of rape and sexual assault.

63 page PDF

806.4 kB

63 page PDF

806.4 kB

Contents
Equally Safe consultation: analysis of responses
1. Introduction

63 page PDF

806.4 kB

1. Introduction

1.1. On the 15th February 2019 the Scottish Government opened a consultation on legislation to improve forensic medical services (FMS) for victims of sexual assault. The consultation closed on the 8th of May and received 53 responses, 18 from individuals and 35 from organisations. See 1.6 for a full breakdown of the profile of respondents.

1.2. The consultation is part of Equally Safe[1]; Scotland’s strategy to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls.  The Scottish Government believes it is crucial that victims of sexual offences receive consistent, person-centred, trauma informed healthcare and access to recovery. For victims of sexual crime, forensic medical services may play a significant role in the healthcare response and deliver an essential part of the evidence base within the justice system.

1.3. In recent years there has been a shift from the traditional justice-centric approach to forensic medical services towards a more holistic, person-centred approach that, for example, ensures that forensic medical examinations take place in appropriate healthcare settings.  Several recent strategic reviews have recognised this shifting landscape and identified ways to enhance the systems and processes in place for those utilising, designing and delivering healthcare and forensic medical services. These proposed changes represent opportunities to improve victims’ experiences with Scotland’s healthcare and justice systems.

1.4. Views gathered in the consultation process will inform the development of the legislation based on careful, systematic exploration of the issues and evidence. A Bill on forensic medical services is likely to form part of the Scottish Government's forthcoming legislative programme for 2019-20. 

1.5. The consultation contained thirteen questions that covered the following themes: 

  • Health Board functions
  • The framework for handling samples, data and other evidence from police and self-referrals
  • Safeguarding victims’ rights
  • Provisions for children and young people; and
  • Views on any potential impacts of the proposals put forward. 

Profile of respondents

1.6. The consultation received 53 responses[2] from 18 individuals and 35 organisations. A full breakdown of the profile of the organisations that took part in the consultation is as follows: 

  • Ten organisations that represent specific groups, or equalities issues more broadly, for example; Scottish Commission for Learning Disability, Children 1st and deafscotland.
  • Nine organisations that provide a health care perspective, including 7 Health Boards.
  • Seven organisations with a focus on victim support such as Rape Crisis Scotland, Victim Support Scotland and Glasgow Violence Against Women Partnership.
  • Five organisations that provide a justice perspective, for example; Police Scotland. 
  • Two Local Authorities.
  • Two other relevant organisations, including the Information Commissioners Office.

Approach to analysis and reporting

1.7. The analyst team developed a qualitative coding framework based on a review of the consultation questions and sample of responses. 

1.8. This report presents the range of views expressed and trends amongst responses.  During analysis it became evident that a few respondents repeated aspects of their responses across questions. In some cases, parts of a response aligned more closely with another question in the discussion document. To avoid repetition, the analysis is presented under the most appropriate thematic heading. 

1.9. The report also draws on summaries of discussions at a consultation workshop hosted by the Scottish Government on 26 March 2019. This invited representatives from Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority (SPA), the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS), NHS Scotland and Rape Crisis Scotland to share expertise in the development of a consistent national model for self-referral.  

1.10. Where appropriate, quotes have been included to illustrate key points. Quotes provide useful examples, insights and contextual information, but may not always represent the views of entire groups. Where respondents gave permission for their responses to be published we have quoted directly, however minor spelling or grammatical errors have been corrected to improve readability. 

1.11. Three organisations asked for their response not to be published. Their responses were included in analysis, but no quotes have been drawn from their submissions. Ten organisations asked for their response to be published without naming them, in those cases, we have attributed quotes to ‘organisation, anonymous’. In all cases, where quotes are drawn from individual, it has been attributed to an ‘individual, anonymous’ rather than a specific person.

1.12. We highlight similar wording in the responses from three respondents: Scottish Borders Rape Crisis Centre, Orkney Rape & Sexual Assault Service and Rape Crisis Scotland. These have been counted as three separate responses, to provide the weight of support for the particular views expressed. 

Report Structure

1.13. The Lines Between was commissioned ‘to produce a clear and concise report for publication, that reflects a robust analysis of the responses to the consultation’. This report presents the findings: 

  • A quantitative summary of responses.
  • Chapter 2 presents the analysis of responses to questions relating to the functions of Health Boards.
  • Chapter 3 presents the analysis of responses to questions relating to the taking and retention of samples.
  • Chapter 4 presents the analysis of responses to questions relating to safeguarding respect for victims’ human rights. 
  • Chapter 5 presents the analysis of responses to questions relating to provisions for children or young people.
  • Chapter 6 presents the analysis of responses to questions relating to any potential impacts of the proposals put forward in equalities including socio-economic equality, people in rural communities, or financial implication for health boards. 
  • Chapter 7 presents the analysis of other comments that were not captured in responses to previous questions. 
  • The final chapter contains conclusions and reflections for the Scottish Government to consider.

1.14. Respondents’ responses to the consultation, where permission for publication was granted, can be found on the Scottish Government’s website[3]

Quantitative Summary 

1.15. The following pages contain a quantitative summary of the responses to each question.

Question

Yes

% Yes

No

% No

Don't know

% Don't know

Not Answered

% Not Answered

Comments

Question 1: Should a specific statutory duty be conferred on Health Boards to provide forensic medical services to victims of rape and sexual assault, for people who have reported to the police as well as for those who have not? 

48

91%

1

2%

1

2%

3

6%

44

Question 2: Do you have any views on how a legislative framework for the taking and retention of samples, personal data and other evidence in the case of police referral should operate? 

30

57%

8

15%

4

8%

11

21%

35

Question 3: Do you have any views on how a legislative framework for the taking and retention of samples, personal data and other evidence in the case of self-referral should operate? 

30

57%

6

11%

4

8%

13

25%

32

Question 4: More generally, do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in the Chapters of this paper on data protection and privacy (the handling of personal data including “special category” data about health)? 

26

49%

11

21%

3

6%

13

25%

29

Question 5: How might legislation help safeguard victims’ rights to respect for their dignity? Please note for this question instead of the three options of ‘yes’/’no’/’don’t know’ respondents were given two options ‘see below’/’don’t know’

41

77%

N/A

N/A

6

11%

6

11%

42

Question 6: More generally, do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in the Chapters of this paper on human rights (including economic, social and cultural rights such as the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health)? 

26

49%

10

19%

4

8%

13

25%

31

Question 7: Should special provisions be included in legislation to reflect the distinct position and needs of children and young people?  Do you have any views on how such special provisions should operate? 

42

79%

0

0%

1

2%

10

19%

40

Question 8: More generally, do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in the Chapters of this paper on children and young people including their human rights or wellbeing? 

20

38%

11

21%

3

6%

19

36%

30

Question 9: Do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in this paper on equalities (the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation)

27

51%

12

23%

4

8%

10

19%

32

Question 10: Do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in this paper on socio-economic equality (the Fairer Scotland Duty)? 

9

17%

26

49%

2

4%

16

30%

11

Question 11: Do you have any views on potential impacts of the proposals in this paper on people in rural or island communities? 

29

55%

8

15%

4

8%

12

23%

32

Question 12: Do you have any views on the financial implications of the proposals in this consultation paper for NHS Scotland and other bodies? 

25

47%

12

23%

3

6%

13

25%

26

Question 13: Finally, do you have any other comments that have not been captured in the responses to the other questions you have provided? 

18

34%

23

43%

0

0%

12

23%

21


Contact

Email: greig.walker@gov.scot