Information

Supporting adults who present having experienced rape or sexual assault - draft clinical pathway: consultation analysis

An analysis of the responses to the consultation on the draft clinical pathway for healthcare professionals working to support adults who present having experienced rape or sexual assault.


Section 4: Consent, corroboration and information sharing

Consultation comment Project group response
302 Currently the pathway notes either do people want to report or they don't. There is a further option of intelligence sharing. Rape Crisis Scotland currently facilitates intelligence sharing with the Police through the online EPPIC system. Is this something which could be considered for those who do not feel ready/able to engage? This could be explored, or at least referenced. This is an issue for consideration with Police Scotland. The Clinical Pathways Subgroup considered this to be out of scope of the pathway document. The issue of intelligence sharing is being explored in detail as part of the work of the new self-referral subgroup.
303 In the diagram the box at the start is based on ‘informed choice and consent’. There is a box at top pertaining child and adult protection concerns and any overriding mental and/or physical concerns. This needs to reference capacity of individual to make informed decisions and choices in that box and then provide detail in accompanying guidance. No guidance is referenced but assume will be? Further work has been carried out on the diagram.
304 Summary references in that there is a separate pathway for young people with additional support needs. Not enough about adults with additional support needs just saying adults will be directed to support. This section of the Pathway has been updated following engagement with key stakeholders to include reference to the relevant legislation and use of appropriate terminology.
305 A person being distressed should not be interpreted as not giving consent. If a patient appears to be too distressed to undergo examination they should be supported and given time, not issued with a threat of stopping examination fully as they are upset. Person centered approach implies appointment time shouldn't be a barrier - a patient should be given appropriate time and option of stopping and starting the examination in order to minimize distress and give patient control and safety. Clinicians working in sexual offences examinations are trained to provide trauma informed care and to assess capacity to consent to examination and to data sharing. This includes offering choice and flexibility in approach. Trauma informed training is available for all NHS Staff through NHS Education for Scotland.
306 Lacking capacity has to be a high test, patients cannot be seen to be lacking capacity due to presenting as distressed by the incident as this undermine trauma informed practice which seeks to consider the impact of trauma The Clinical Pathways Subgroup believes that clinicians’ practice should allow recognition of physical and relational triggers and minimise re-traumatisation and levels of distress. Clinicians are encouraged to appropriately seek informed consent and document when reasons other than incident related distress (e.g. learning difficulties, dementia), require the support of an appropriate adult to support individuals in making informed choices for themselves.
307 If a patient who is intoxicated is seen as not having capacity to consent to examination, they should be assessed as not having capacity based on how they present not simply a knowledge that they are under the influence. This takes into account the difficulty of the examination that some patients may only go through with if they are mildly under the influence, and removes the barrier for patients with addictions. Assessing the capacity of a person to give consent for a medical procedure is a core medical skill and this would be done by the examiner based on individual circumstances.
308 Service users suggested that the medical examiner takes some of this information from police statements to avoid them having to repeat and re-disclose details to different people The national form has been updated to reduce the person having to repeat the same details that have already been provided to the police.
309 Questions about the medical examiner giving evidence and opinions to police. What can and can’t they pass on? Could this influence the police? How is this safeguarded against? The national form has a structure where only certain sections are forensic and can be shared with Police Scotland. This will be explained to individuals in advance as part of seeking consent for examination. The Clinical Pathways Subgroup believes that this structure is enough to provide the necessary protections.
310 We have comments on 8.3 Refusal of any Elements of the Examination
This implies that it is only people with capacity who can refuse an examination. Some guidance should be given on the situation where a person without capacity refuses or resists the examination. We suggest something on the following lines –
“Where a person with incapacity refuses or resists any part of an examination, appropriate support and reassurance should be given. If this is unsuccessful, the examination should not proceed in the face of resistance unless there are compelling reasons to do so. Force must not be used except where absolutely necessary, for example a medical emergency.”
This section of the Pathway has been updated following engagement with key stakeholders to include reference to the relevant legislation and use of appropriate terminology.
311 We believe [the Adults with Incapacity] section requires a considerable amount of further work to accurately reflect the law and provide the most helpful guidance. It would be helpful to do this with a small group of people or agencies with expertise in this field.
Most importantly, some clarity is needed on the position of forensic examinations which go beyond what is required for medical treatment. The provisions of Part 5 of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act are specifically directed at authorising medical treatment to safeguard or promote the physical or mental health of the adult. An intrusive examination to gather forensic evidence may not fall within that category, so may not be covered by the authority to treat.
We suggest the guidance should set out the following approach in relation to the forensic aspect of the examination
- The primary focus should be on assessing and treating the healthcare needs of the adult
- It is acceptable to collect forensic evidence where doing so is incidental to the consideration of the adult’s healthcare needs
- Where the forensic examination involves more intrusive interventions, e.g. to take samples, this should normally only be done where the adult is not resisting the intervention and there is minimal discomfort and risk to the adult.
We are not expert in the nature of current forensic examinations, and are not sure if this approach might rule out any particular approaches which may generate important evidence. If so, we’d be happy to discuss what further refinements might be added.
In relation to the Flow Chart at page 50, this sets out the procedure for treatment in non-emergency situations, where there is time for the medical practitioner to complete a certificate under s47 of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act. We are not sure whether this is practical in the context of a medico/forensic examination following a sexual assault. If it is not, it would be important to set out what should happen, drawing on the relevant Code of Practice for Part 5 of the Act - https://www2.gov.scot/Topics/Justice/law/awi/010408awiwebpubs/cop. There should still be an assessment of the patient’s capacity to make a decision, and of the appropriateness and extent of the interventions, taking account of the adult’s wishes and feelings, so far as they are ascertainable.
Incidentally, the word ‘Incapacity’ is missing from the heading of the flow chart.
The document covers loss of capacity due to intoxication, but we would like more advice on the situation of impaired or lost capacity due to trauma and shock.
It should be made clearer whether the section beginning ‘Each patient and their condition should be evaluated …’ on pages 51-52 applies only to the heading above of ‘Patient with Serious Injury/Unconscious Patient’ or is intended to apply to the whole of 8.2. Assuming it is the latter, as we set out above, the statement that ‘forensic medical examination should be undertaken if it is considered to be in the best interests of the patient’ requires a more nuanced consideration of the purpose of the examination.
The first and fourth paragraph on page 52 cover the same point. We would suggest combining them as follows:
‘The Forensic Examiner should consult any legally appointed welfare attorney or welfare guardian. They should also consider speaking to family members or others close to the patient about the nature and purpose of the proposed examination in order to determine and take into account the person’s past and present wishes and feelings, beliefs and values.’
This section of the Pathway has been updated following engagement with key stakeholders to include reference to the relevant legislation and use of appropriate terminology.
312 In relation to expert witnesses, it is relevant to note that this category of witnesses must be accepted by the court to be an expert in the appropriate area, based on their CV and experience. Wording has been amended in the witness section of the pathway.
313 The Pathway stresses that the clinician should not re-interview or stray into the role of investigator (7.4.1 P38) however there is a significant list of questions that can easily be interpreted as an interview. This information has been asked regardless of police involvement which suggests the need for better communication The national form has been updated to avoid the person having to repeat the same details that have already been provided to the police.
314 As a general comment, we would note that under section 4, although it is correct that sexual violence predominately affects women and girls, it is important to note that the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009 is a gender-neutral Act, and that men and boys can also be victims. Wording amended - the Pathway has been updated to reflect the Sexual Offences Act (2009) is gender neutral.
315 In the Sheriff Court, a Sheriff has the power to remit cases to the High Court where they deem sentencing of 5 years to be inadequate in the light of the facts and circumstances.
In addition, although it is correct that the maximum sentence that a Sheriff can impose is 12 months imprisonment, their sentencing powers include a huge range of community disposals/ fines etc. which may be pertinent in relation to the range of sexual offending and management of offending behaviour. Only mentioning the maximum sentence may unrealistically shape expectations of the inevitable outcome of such offending as being custodial sentencing
Noted.
316 But note earlier comments on staff training re fully informed consent Clinicians working in sexual offences examinations will be trained to provide trauma informed care. Trauma informed training is available for all NHS Staff through NHS Education for Scotland.
317 The inclusion of a written consent is good practice and is welcome. The exemplar consent form in national proforma and this entire section should however be professionally neutral in cognisance that all professionals will be expected to obtain consent for healthcare or forensic medical services that they provide Noted.
318 Agree that the patient should be offered fully informed consent where available. However, if notifying the GP is refused, this does pose a problem for overarching health and wellbeing and ensuring continuity of appropriate care. Under the public task for Health Boards re GDPR, appropriate sharing with the GP – as the conduit for most health care access – is a significant block also subject to consent. The Clinical Pathways Subgroup acknowledge that this issue does potentially pose a problem; however, it is the individual’s right to decline to notify their general practitioner. It is important that individuals understand the purpose for information sharing and the consequences of not sharing the information. Discussions should be tailored to the individual.
319 consideration to consent and capacity in terms of the person with a learning disability and how this links into legislation This section of the Pathway has been updated following engagement with key stakeholders to include reference to the relevant legislation and use of appropriate terminology.
320 Yes victims should always be told what is wished of them, what is happening or going to happen to them and if they agree or not and their consent should always be respected the state or medical opinion should have no power to challenge or ignore their decision for any reasons unless a court order is granted by a judge or jury. Noted.
321 More could be said about the Adults with Incapacity act, including mention of the principles of the act.
More could be said in relation to supporting individuals with a learning disability including the use of language, visual aids, etc.
This section of the Pathway has been updated following engagement with key stakeholders to include reference to the relevant legislation and use of appropriate terminology.
322 We have concerns that this section, including the flow chart, does not accurately reflect the legal position in Scotland or best practice in relation to adults with incapacity.
Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000
Section 8.2 properly identifies the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 (the 2000 Act) as the basis of the law in Scotland. However, the main content of this section appears to be based on the law in England & Wales, for example in the use of concepts such as ‘decision-making capacity’.
In particular, it is incorrect to apply a test of the best interests of the adult. That test was explicitly rejected as inappropriate for persons aged over 16. In Scotland, all interventions in relation to an adult with incapacity must be made in line with the fundamental principles of the 2000 Act, namely that:
  • The intervention will benefit the adult, and the benefit cannot be reasonably achieved without that intervention
  • The least restrictive option should be taken
  • Consideration must be taken of
    • The present and past wishes and feelings of the adult, using any means of communication
    • The views of specified individuals, including the nearest relative, guardians, and attorneys
  • The adult should be encouraged to exercise their skills in relation to their affairs and welfare
This section of the Pathway has been updated following engagement with key stakeholders to include reference to the relevant legislation and use of appropriate terminology, the flowchart has been removed.
323 Any guidance on how to approach decisions and interventions relating to adults with incapacity or disability must take into account the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), an international convention “to promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity”.[1] The UK has ratified both the CPRD and the optional protocol.
In addition to the wider implications of this rights-based approach and non-discrimination, Article 12 recognises the legal capacity of persons with disabilities, and the need to take measures to support the exercise of legal capacity, and Article 13 of the CRPD requires effective access to justice for persons with disabilities on an equal basis to others. Article 16 requires measures to protect persons with disabilities from exploitation, violence, and abuse. This includes promoting recovery, rehabilitation, and social reintegration of victims of abuse, and effective means of identifying, investigating and, where appropriate, prosecuting instances of exploitation, violence, and abuse.
Ensuring that adults with incapacity presenting with experience of rape or sexual assault are treated in a way that respects and protects their human rights, including ensuring that necessary forensic examinations can be undertaken to support criminal investigations, is clearly an important part of guidance to healthcare professionals.
This section of the Pathway has been updated following engagement with key stakeholders to include reference to the relevant legislation and use of appropriate terminology.
324 The two concepts of supported decision-making and best interpretation of an individual’s wishes and feelings provide necessary context to how decisions on interventions should be approached in compliance with both the 2000 Act and the CRPD.
Although we recognise the concerns around allowing family members, friends or partners to act as interpreters, in practice this may conflict with the need to seek the best interpretation of the views and wishes of an individual and support them to exercise their skills in making decisions relating to their treatment.
The role of independent advocacy workers would also be a helpful point to include in the guidance, in the context of supported decision-making.
This section of the Pathway has been updated following engagement with key stakeholders to include reference to the relevant legislation and use of appropriate terminology.
325 In section 8.2 of the guidance it may be helpful to include the full definition (below in bold and italics) to ensure a full understanding of those who may not have capacity: In Scotland the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 and any recent updates defines individuals as incapacitated if they cannot make decisions, or understand their decisions, or act on their decisions, or communicate them, or remember their decisions.

In section 8.2.3 of the guidance it may be helpful to make a small revision to ensure it is consistent with the correct terminology within the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000.

“The Forensic Examiner should consider obtaining the views of other people who are close to the patient as well as consulting with any legally appointed welfare attorney or welfare guardian attorney”.
to
“The Forensic Examiner should consider obtaining the views of other people who are close to the patient and must consult with any legally appointed welfare attorney or welfare guardian.”
This section of the Pathway has been updated following engagement with key stakeholders to include reference to the relevant legislation and use of appropriate terminology.
326 consideration to consent and capacity in terms of the person with a learning disability and how this links into legislation - completion of section 47 certificate
the use of the appropriate adult
is there reference to guardianship powers or power of attorney ?
seeking support from other agencies - mental welfare commission for example
This section of the Pathway has been updated following engagement with key stakeholders to include reference to the relevant legislation and use of appropriate terminology.
327 I am in agreement that adults with incapacity should be given as much choice as they can demonstrate having the capacity to exercise and that medical and legal
personnel should work to preserve the life of the person and bring any of the victims offenders to justice however I am opposed to any measurement by the state or medical profession that may be used under the banner of acting in the best interests of an incapacitated person to enforce on that person any treatment which would amount to the termination of a child or to the euthanasia of the victim.
In cases of incapacity there should be a legal compulsion for the NHS to consult with any person holding power of attorney or a person who is a next of kin as a
matter of course and not just if the NHS think it’s appropriate if in the event the next of kin or holder of the power of attorney is suspected of the sexual offence
then there should be an automatic need to defer to another member of the persons family or a known loved one at once. In all cases if no suitable person can be
located to consult at all then a defence solicitor at Scots mental health law should be notified at once to act for the person deemed to not have capacity in which
case legal aid should be automatically granted. The person holding such power of attorney or deferred to must not be given the ability to recommend or consent
to an abortion of any human being conceived of rape or to any action to end the life of the victim. If an application is made to the MWC and any resulting action agreed by medical personnel or the MWC is challenged by an interested party that planned action
to be performed on the victim by the MWC and medical personnel should not commence at all until a court has decided in their favour and against the interested party unless that action so planned is to save the immediate life of the incapacitated person. If the action planned is to amount to euthanasia of the victim or an abortion
then the courts, MWC and NHS should be statutory barred from implementing it for any reason.
This section of the Pathway has been updated following engagement with key stakeholders to include reference to the relevant legislation and use of appropriate terminology.
328 Survivors should receive a pack with follow up information, contact numbers etc. as they may still be in shock and need time to absorb information. Should include a multi-agency feedback sheet if they wish to complete that The Clinical Pathways Subgroup agrees with the principle of this comment. NHS Boards are encouraged to provide information and ongoing support to survivors which is relevant to their local services.
329 Sign-posting key Noted.
330 Definitely information on Rape Crisis Helpline and Samaritans. It is a lonely place going home after making statements or having examinations. To go home to people that often don't know what is happening is very difficult. The Clinical Pathways Subgroup agrees with the principle of this comment. NHS Boards are encouraged to provide information and ongoing support to survivors, which is relevant to their local services.
331 Information about how to re-refer / seek additional support may be helpful. Wording amended - further information has been included on re-referring / seeking additional support in the revised pathway.
332 For information on a survivors’ journey through the justice process it would be useful to highlight the online video resources produced by Rape Crisis Scotland featuring NHS, Police Scotland and COPFS. The English language version can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTlDX1hDZjY
It is also available in a number of languages and with subtitles. We did have copies in DVD format though feedback latterly is that online access is preferable . Work is about to begin on updating this resource, through the Scottish Government.

RCS also have a range of support resources which we use all the time and are valued by survivors, the most commonly requested are those looking at trauma https://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk/resources/RCS-supportresources-trauma.pdf healing https://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk/publications/RCS-supportresources-healing.pdf and coping strategies https://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk/resources/RCS-supportresources-coping.pdf Edinburgh Rape Crisis also produce a very helpful self-help resource; the ‘little green book’ . https://www.ercc.scot/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Little-Green-Book.pdf

The Scottish Government recently commissioned us to review this question with a view to reviewing their current resource https://www2.gov.scot/Publications/2011/06/13141931/0 and how best to meet this need. Survivors noted that having access to PDF versions of these resources as well as hard copies which gave a sense of comfort and companionship where they could interact with a physical copy was very helpful. There is some ongoing work planned from this.

It is important that resources are produced in a number of languages, in easy read format and in BSL/subtitles. This is an example produced by Enable with input from us https://www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk/publications/enable-abusebooklet-easyread.pdf

In our Police feedback survivors often cannot remember what information they were told so having clear information in written/digital format for later reference is important. Checking whether this information is better given out or whether email is better for later reference. Having clear online access is also helpful for safety and access purposes.
The Clinical Pathways Subgroup agree with this comment, although consider the detail of the support information given out of scope of a clinical pathway. Work is ongoing to review and update current guidance materials available for people who have experienced rape and sexual assault. This feedback will be taken on board when further work is carried out on future guidance.
The Clinical Pathways Subgroup have developed an information leaflet to provide additional information on a forensic medical examination, which can be given to people who disclose rape and sexual assault and who may undergo a forensic medical examination.
333 Too much material could be overwhelming, so tailored elements that can create a specific individual ‘leaving pack’ would be ideal.

It must also be checked that it will be safe to take such materials home for privacy/safety reasons.

‘Florence’ system style text messages for appointments may help (if phone has not been seized as a production).
The Clinical Pathways Subgroup agree with this comment, although consider the detail of the support information given out of scope of a clinical pathway. Work is ongoing to review and update current guidance materials available for people who have experienced rape and sexual assault. This feedback will be taken on board when further work is carried out on future guidance.
334 Person centred follow up care is crucial for the recovery of those individuals who have experienced sexual assault, the role of an independent service advocacy worker would support the smooth transition between services and keep the individual at the centre of any support that is required to help them recover. Implementation of the Pathway, including co-ordination of care, is for local determination. NHS Boards are encouraged to provide information and ongoing support to survivors which is relevant to their local services.
335 In most areas there are comprehensive support services available. The challenge is to ensure that information about these services is widely distributed and staff are aware and pass on information to victims. Coordinating follow-up appointments and facilitating attendance is challenging for the NHS, but if the appropriate contact is made with other agencies specialising in support at the time of initial contact - Rape Crisis, Victim Support, SWD etc. There is a much higher chance of a wraparound service being delivered. Implementation of the Pathway, including the co-ordination of care, is for local determination. NHS Boards are encouraged to provide information and ongoing support to survivors which is relevant to their local services.
336 It is proposed that there needs to be clarity about who will fulfil this role if the chaperone is to act as the corroborating witness, particularly given the suggestion that it may not be a healthcare professional.

For example, the corroborating witness will need to have had some form of training in forensic medical examination and evidence gathering techniques.

An advocacy worker, for example, is unlikely to be an appropriate corroborating witness given their likely partisanship towards the patient and likely lack of requisite training.

Appendix A: Roles and Responsibilities: Chaperones The chaperone has an important role in forensic medical examination. As well as witness the conduct of the examination the chaperone offers support to the individual during examination and reduces risk of them feeling vulnerable. The chaperone may be used to corroborate evidence collection in Scotland, within the parameters detailed in Section 9 therefore the chaperon must be prepared to sign labels of productions seized during the examination, provide the police with a witness statement and attend at court to give evidence if cited to do so. It is proposed that if the chaperone is to be the corroborating witness the suggestion that they offer support to the patient is problematic from a criminal justice perspective as it could result in their impartiality being called into question. Would it be possible to delete that phrase and simply state that the presence of the chaperone reduces
Role descriptors including that of chaperone are included in Appendix C of the Pathway.
337 I question the capabilities of a forensic examiner to carry out all these responsibilities to the highest standard, I suggest that the separate support worker role would allow for a worker who is specifically qualified in a support role, rather than a forensic/healthcare role would enable a higher standard of follow up care (psycho/social support – healthcare follow up e.g. STI check should be carried out by appropriate professional, with the support worker offering support to attend appointment). The Clinical Pathways Subgroup does not envisage that the sexual offences examiner will carry out all roles, but that the service will be multidisciplinary, and follow-up support will be offered. Exact configurations of those roles is for local determination.
338 “Before photographic evidence is taken, the patient must have given written consent and must be fully aware that the photographs may be shown in any subsequent court proceedings although this is unlikely. COPFS do not disclose copies of intimate photographs to the defence; disclosure would be facilitated by allowing the defence to come to a Procurator Fiscal’s office to view the images.”
It is proposed that deletion of the words “although this is unlikely” is appropriate. Inclusion creates an expectation that may not be fulfilled.
It is proposed that the word “routinely” should be inserted between the words “not” and “disclose” on line 3 of the paragraph.
It is proposed that the word “normally” should be inserted between the words “would” and “be” on line 3 of the paragraph.
Wording amended according to suggestions.
339 “Patients who are intoxicated due to alcohol or drugs may temporarily lose their capacity. In such circumstances, the forensic assessment should normally be deferred until the patient’s capacity has returned.”
It is proposed that it should be explicitly stated that there may be exceptional circumstances in which the forensic examination should take place prior to the patient regaining capacity, e.g. if the patient is not expected to regain capacity within the forensic window and the FME judges that it is appropriate to proceed.
The Clinical Pathways Subgroup believes that this is covered under the section on capacity.
340 “If a patient chooses not to have a forensic medical examination, then they should do so with a clear understanding of the implications of the choice they are making and that choice should be respected.”
It is proposed that the words “including the potentially detrimental effect this could have on the investigation and prosecution of criminal conduct” be inserted between the words “making” and “and” on line 2.
Wording amended according to suggestions.
341 “The necessity of having corroborated evidence has lain at the heart of the criminal justice system in Scotland. Its stated purpose, in criminal cases, is to prevent an accused from being wrongly convicted on the basis of a single witness, who may be either fallible or dishonest.”
It is proposed that the words “witness, who” be amended to “source of evidence, which”.
This section is not included in the revised version of the Pathway as the Pathway is to inform the provision of healthcare to victims of sexual assault or rape.
342 The corroborating witness requires to be able to confirm: the date and place of the examination; the name of the person who has experienced rape or sexual assault, the taking of all swabs and samples; and the presence of any injuries.
It is proposed that this sentence should be replaced with: “The examination requires to be corroborated by a witness preferably a health professional, who must be able to speak to the particulars of the examination including: the taking of all swabs and samples and the presence of any injuries.
Wording amended according to suggestions.
343 The Criminal Justice Process - Is there value including this section? It doesn’t specifically relate to the conduct of a forensic medical examination The Clinical Pathways Subgroup discussed this section and opted to include it for background information. The subgroup has decided that the section should be included in the final pathway.
344 Cases, which involve an allegation of serious sexual assault, are likely to be heard in the Sheriff Court by a Sheriff sitting with a jury. Again the jury will decide if the accused is guilty and the Sheriff will pass sentence. The maximum sentence that can be imposed is 5 years imprisonment.
It is proposed that the words “are likely to” should be replaced by the word “may” in both of these paragraphs. On reflection the current drafting suggests too high a degree of certainty that is arguably inappropriate.
Wording amended.
345 In summary a Chaperone should…
It is proposed that the following bullet points be added:
"Be independent of the patient"
It is proposed that there needs to be clarity about who will fulfil this role if the chaperone is to act as the corroborating witness, particularly given the suggestion that it may not be a healthcare professional.
For example, the corroborating witness will need to have had some form of training in forensic medical examination and evidence gathering techniques.
An advocacy worker, for example, is unlikely to be an appropriate corroborating witness given their likely partisanship towards the patient and likely lack of requisite training.
Workforce planning is a key issue in relation to the employment of healthcare professionals as corroborating witnesses. It would be wise to explore that issue before publishing guidelines which require this to be the case.
Role descriptors, including that of Chaperone are now included in Appendix C of the pathway.
346 The chaperone has an important role in forensic medical examination. As well as witnessing the conduct of the examination the chaperone offers support to the individual during examination and reduces risk of them feeling vulnerable. The chaperone may be used to corroborate evidence collection in Scotland, within the parameters detailed in Section 9 therefore the chaperon must be prepared to sign labels of productions seized during the examination, provide the police with a witness statement and attend at court to give evidence if cited to do so.
It is proposed that if the chaperone is to be the corroborating witness the suggestion that they offer support to the patient is problematic from a criminal justice perspective as it could result in their impartiality being called into question. Would it be possible to delete that phrase and simply state that the presence of the chaperone reduces the risk of the patient feeling vulnerable?
Wording amended. Role descriptors, including that of Chaperone are now included in Appendix C of the pathway.

Contact

Email: CMOtaskforce.secretariat@gov.scot

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