Publication - Research and analysis

Consultation on Proposals to Reform Fatal Accident Inquiries Legislation - Analysis of Consultation Responses

Published: 21 Nov 2014
Part of:
Research
ISBN:
9781784129347

This report provides an analysis of responses to the Scottish Government’s Consultation on proposals to reform Fatal Accident Inquiries legislation. The consultation ran from 1 July and 9 September 2014 with 58 responses received.

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65 page PDF

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Contents
Consultation on Proposals to Reform Fatal Accident Inquiries Legislation - Analysis of Consultation Responses
2 Mandatory categories of FAIS

65 page PDF

852.3 kB

2 Mandatory categories of FAIS

2.1 The consultation paper gave an overview of the current legislation, setting out that an FAI is mandatory for deaths as a result of an accident in the course of employment or in legal custody, including prison.

Work-related deaths

2.2 The consultation paper noted the Government's intention of maintaining the provision for mandatory FAIs into deaths that appear to have resulted from an accident occurring whilst working.

2.3 In a consultation paper on her proposed Inquiries into Deaths (Scotland) Bill, Patricia Ferguson MSP proposed that there should be no distinction between deaths as a result of accidents in the course of employment and what she termed "other workplace incidents which lead to the death of a worker". This proposal would appear likely to bring industrial diseases and other employment issues (such as exposure to chemicals), within the scope of the FAI legislation.

Question 1: Do you think that the current mandatory provision for work-related deaths is sufficient?

2.4 The majority of the respondents who answered this question agreed that the current mandatory provision for work-related deaths is sufficient. Responses by respondent type are set out in Table 2 below.

Table 2: Question 1 - Response by Respondent Type

Respondent Type

Yes

No

Not Answered
No View

Total

Insurance industry bodies or firms

4

-

-

4

Legal bodies or firms

8

2

4

14

Local authorities

6

-

1

7

Public bodies

8

1

6

15

Representative groups

1

2

6

9

Total Organisations

(27)

(5)

(17)

(49)

Individuals

2

2

4

8

TOTAL

29

7

21

57

2.5 Thirty one respondents made a further comment at this question, with many of those responses responding to or commenting on the discussion on this issue set out in the consultation paper.

2.6 Many respondents agreed with the consultation paper's assertion that requiring an FAI for all work-related death would lead to a greater number of FAIs being held. Some of these respondents went on to note this would lead to greater utilisation of public resources and could actually help exacerbate the very delays that other proposals seek to address. More specifically, some respondents referred to the possible impact on a range of services and organisations including the Scottish Court Service, COPFS, the Scottish Legal Aid Board and HSE.

2.7 Some respondents questioned whether expanding the circumstances which would trigger a mandatory FAI would be in the public interest and, in particular, questioned whether any benefits would result. A small number of respondents suggested that little if anything new would be learnt from conducting FAIs for all work-related deaths and that there would be limited value in holding repeated FAIs covering the same sets of circumstances. An example given was the danger of asbestos exposure and related injuries and it was suggested that these dangers are already well known and extensively documented. However, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers called for a flexible approach which recognised that it might, for example, be worthwhile holding an FAI where an industrial disease was contracted in more unusual circumstances, for example whilst working in a school or shop.

2.8 There were specific concerns about whether it would in any case be realistic to hold some of these FAIs, particularly given that some cases could refer to events of many years ago. Challenges or problems that respondents suggested could arise included:

  • It could be difficult to establish which of several employers could be responsible.
  • The employer who caused the harm might no longer exist or there could have been a transfer of ownership.
  • Key witnesses, including former colleagues of the deceased, may not be available to give evidence.
  • The statutory regulations governing the relevant workplace or industry may already have become more stringent.

2.9 A possible compromise suggested was a "cut off" period for cases of historical exposure, or a prescribed list of industrial diseases or substance exposures which would mean an FAI was appropriate.

2.10 Finally amongst those who thought the current provisions to be sufficient, there were some concerns that the relationship between FAIs and civil and criminal proceedings could become confused. The Forum of Scottish Claims Managers summarised their position as follows:

"The FAI is not to a vehicle to repeat evidence from a previous criminal trial or a mechanism to forward evidence which would come out as part of a later civil trial."

2.11 Those who did not agree that the current provisions are sufficient also raised a range of issues, with a small number of respondents pointing to occasions when FAIs are not held for work-related deaths but arguably should be. The two suggested sets of circumstances were for cases of death from industrial disease and in the event of any work-related fatal road traffic accident.

2.12 The STUC and Society of Solicitor Advocates commented on death from industrial disease. Both suggested the argument that there is no public interest case needs to be questioned. Whilst recognising that the events giving rise to the death will be long past in many cases, it was also noted that there remain a significant number of cases where the responsible party is still in existence and yet no consideration is given to the possibility of a prosecution in these cases. The STUC also highlighted the possible but currently unknown health risks for workers that could be associated with new technologies, such as fracking, or with existing work environments, such as exposure to biological agents or chemicals.

2.13 The other reason put forward in support of conducting FAIs in the event of industrial disease was that part of the role of the procurator fiscal is to see that accurate death statistics are maintained and that the absence of inquiries into cases of death from industrial disease means that national statistics are less accurate than they should be.

2.14 SCID called for FAIs to be held in the event of any work-related fatal road traffic accident, and Sheriff Crowe for FAIs into road traffic deaths where no prosecution takes place. SCID also called for FAIs for road deaths resulting from collisions with emergency or commercial vehicles. They noted that accidents could either involve the death of an employee who is driving or an employee who is driving causing the death of another road user. Most crucially, and whether or not there are criminal proceedings, they called for lessons to be learned and measures put in place to prevent similar occurrences in future. Similarly, Sheriff Crowe suggested that holding an FAI could raise public awareness or, in the case of road traffic accidents, could help avoid further accidents occurring in the same location.

2.15 Conversely, one respondent referred to the current mandatory provisions giving rise to FAIs that may not be required or bring benefit. The example given was if a police or HSE investigation concludes that the circumstances of the death are clear or that the death can be attributed to natural causes and a criminal prosecution is not proceeded with. A Legal Firm Respondent (Pinsent Masons LLP), questioned whether the Lord Advocate should not be able dispense with a mandatory FAI under such circumstances, not least because nothing is to be gained from it.

Extending the mandatory categories

2.16 Questions 2 to 6 of the consultation paper sought views on extending the mandatory categories.

2.17 As the paper notes, the Scottish Government agrees with Lord Cullen's recommendation that the mandatory category of deaths of persons in 'lawful custody' should be updated and extended and also that if a person is 'arrested or detained by police' at the time of death they are effectively in 'police care' and in those circumstances a mandatory FAI should be carried out.

Question 2: Do you agree that a death which occurs when a person is 'arrested or detained by police' should be subject to a mandatory FAI?

2.18 A substantial majority of the respondents who answered this question agreed that a death which occurs when a person is arrested or detained by police should be subject to a mandatory FAI. Responses by respondent type are set out in Table 3 below.

Table 3: Question 2 - Response by Respondent Type

Respondent Type

Yes

No

Not Answered
No View

Total

Insurance industry bodies or firms

-

-

4

4

Legal bodies or firms

8

1

5

14

Local authorities

6

-

1

7

Public bodies

9

1

5

15

Representative groups

4

-

5

9

Total Organisations

(27)

(2)

(20)

(49)

Individuals

4

-

4

8

TOTAL

31

2

24

57

2.19 Twenty one respondents went on to make an additional comment, with a small number simply stating their support for Lord Cullen's recommendation and the Scottish Government's response. Others noted that it was important for mandatory FAIs to be retained in the public interest in order to ensure transparency and to foster and maintain trust in state institutions.

2.20 Also commenting on how the system works at present, the Scottish Legal Aid Board pointed out that their existing guidance indicates that it is considered that the reasonableness test for civil legal aid is met where a death arises while an individual is in custody and that, in practical terms they treat "in custody" as covering deaths in prison, police stations or other care institutions. It was also noted that previous FAIs covering these circumstances have highlighted a number of issues which have since been addressed by police.

2.21 In terms of the specific changes proposed, both EHCR and Perth and Kinross Council agreed that the definition should be expanded to cover all situations in which the deceased has been arrested or detained by a police officer. Perth and Kinross Council also suggested that the provisions could be extended to cover those who have attended on a Voluntary Declaration of Attendance basis.

Question 3: Should the death of a child in 'secure care' be subject to a mandatory FAI?

2.22 Question 3 asked if the death of a child whilst in 'secure care' should be subject to a mandatory FAI. The consultation paper explains that the route into secure care would be either through conviction of a crime or via a decision by a children's hearing to put in place a compulsory supervision order with authorisation for secure care. The Scottish Government agrees with Lord Cullen's recommendation that such FAIs should be mandatory.

2.23 The majority of respondents who answered Question 3 agreed that the death of a child in 'secure care' should be subject to a mandatory FAI. However, 3 of the 7 Local Authority Respondents disagreed. Responses by respondent type are set out in Table 4 below.

Table 4: Question 3 - Response by Respondent Type

Respondent Type

Yes

No

Not Answered
No View

Total

Insurance industry bodies or firms

-

-

4

4

Legal bodies or firms

9

-

5

14

Local authorities

4

3

-

7

Public bodies

8

1

6

15

Representative groups

4

-

5

9

Total Organisations

(25)

(4)

(20)

(49)

Individuals

4

-

4

8

TOTAL

29

4

24

57

2.24 Only 16 respondents went on to make a further comment, although some others referred back to comments made at Question 2. The latter had tended to focus on transparency and retaining the confidence of the public.

2.25 Other points highlighted by those agreeing with the proposal included that a child or young person subject to secure care is deemed to be at very high risk themselves or to pose such a risk to others; secure care needs offer the highest levels of support and supervision, but also needs to be subject to high levels of supervision, including through the court system.

2.26 Perth and Kinross Council, whilst supporting the proposal, also suggested that account needs to be taken of the Scottish Government Review and Reporting Arrangements for Deaths of Looked After and Accommodated Children and Young People. They also noted that the Guidance for Child Protection Committees on Conducting Significant Case Reviews (SCRs) is to be reviewed and suggested that it will be critical for all the arrangements to support and complement each other.

2.27 As at Question 2, a small number of respondents disagreed with the proposal. The concerns of those disagreeing with the proposal were that the current arrangements are suitable and sufficient and that an element of discretion and flexibility should be retained.

2.28 West Lothian Council took a different view and, whilst agreeing that an investigation should be mandatory, questioned whether an FAI was necessarily the appropriate forum. Their concern was that an FAI could be distressing for the family and relatives of the child or young person, and suggested an alternative approach might be the appointment of a judicial reporting or investigating officer.

2.29 Finally, a small number of respondents commented on what is being meant by the term 'secure care', with the Scottish Legal Aid Board suggesting that the necessity for a mandatory FAI in the event of the death of a child resident in care, including private boarding schools, has not been shown. These issues are covered further under Question 4 below.

Question 4: Do you agree that any other categories of residential childcare, which are not defined as 'secure care', should not result in a mandatory FAI?

2.30 As the consultation paper explains, Lord Cullen's recommendation for the extension of mandatory FAIs regarding deaths of children who are maintained in residential child care could include all children in private boarding schools, children in residential special schools and children placed in residential child care, either via a compulsory supervision order made at a children's hearing, or voluntarily accommodated by the local authority under section 25 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, whether the death occurred on the grounds of such establishment or not.

2.31 The Scottish Government does not agree with the requirement for a mandatory FAI if the death of a child occurs whilst they are resident at one of these other categories of residential childcare and Question 4 asked respondents whether they agreed that FAIs should not be mandatory.

2.32 Compared with many of the proposals included within this consultation, respondents were divided on this issue, although a clear majority did support the Government's position. The exception was amongst Individual Respondents and Legal Bodies or Firms Respondents, with the majority of those who responded at this question supporting mandatory FAIs. Responses are set out in Table 5 below.

Table 5: Question 4 - Response by Respondent Type

Respondent Type

Yes

No

Not Answered
No View

Total

Insurance industry bodies or firms

1

-

3

4

Legal bodies or firms

3

5

6

14

Local authorities

7

-

-

7

Public bodies

8

1

6

15

Representative groups

2

1

6

9

Total Organisations

(21)

(7)

(21)

(49)

Individuals

-

4

4

8

TOTAL

21

11

25

57

2.33 Twenty seven respondents made a further comment. Those who agreed that such FAIs should not be mandatory identified a number of reasons why not. These included that the existing arrangements (discretion to hold an FAI, along with the reporting requirements of the Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009, as amended), are suitable and sufficient. A small number of respondents also suggested that mandatory FAIs would be inappropriate when liberty is not restricted.

2.34 Whilst agreeing with the broader proposal, the Mental Welfare Commission cautioned that:

"…particularly where children have learning disabilities or mental health problems, it is too simplistic to assert that this [an FAI] is unnecessary because they are not detained against their will. The reality for many such children is that they are not in a position to leave of their own volition, and are effectively subject to the control of the state. Particularly in cases of suicide, it is important that there is some independent review…"

2.35 However, as at Question 3, Glasgow City Council, along with the Care Inspectorate, pointed out that some of the deaths of a child in residential establishments are the consequence of life-limiting conditions and that there would be no benefit in holding an FAI in every case, not least because of the distress caused. The STUC had concerns that kinship and foster carers would be amongst those who could be subject to this distress and that this could affect their willingness to assume the carer role.

2.36 West Lothian Council also made a similar point as at Question 3, namely that appointment of a judicial reporting or investigating officer could offer a more appropriate response than an FAI. Perth and Kinross Council suggested that (in line with the new duties arising from the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014), it would be better to consider extending the duties on local authorities to conduct a multi-agency review of the circumstances surrounding the death of a child or young person. Similarly, South Lanarkshire Council saw potential in establishing formal dialogue between the Chair of the Local Authority's Child Protection Committee and the Procurator Fiscal's Office to help inform decision making, while the Care Inspectorate pointed to their existing role in reviewing the circumstances of the death of any looked after child.

2.37 Those who disagreed, and therefore considered that the requirement for mandatory FAIs should cover other forms of residential accommodation, frequently made the straightforward point that all child deaths in residential care should be investigated through an FAI. The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers suggested mandatory FAIs would be appropriate in any situation where the state or an agent of the state is in a position of care or control. The EHRC was of the view that:

"Mandatory FAIs should also include those children not in 'secure care' who are otherwise required to live away from home. This would include children subject to a child protection order or supervision requirement, or any other order or requirement that the child be kept in, or taken to, a place of safety or residential establishment."

Question 5a: Do you think the aim of an independent investigation into the death of a person subject to compulsory detention by a public authority, that retains the traditional role of the Lord Advocate, should be met by an investigation by the procurator fiscal and exercise of the Lord Advocate's discretion on completion of that investigation?

or

Question 5b: Alternatively, do you think the option of a case review by a public authority such as the Mental Welfare Commission could be combined with a discretionary power to hold an FAI?

2.38 Questions 5a and 5b addressed the death of a person subject to a compulsory detention order under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. Lord Cullen recommended the extension of mandatory FAIs to include the death of any person who is subject at the time of death to compulsory detention by a public authority within the meaning of section 6 of the Human Rights Act.

2.39 Although the Government accepted the principle of an independent investigation, it considers that there should continue to be some discretion to determine whether an FAI is appropriate in particular cases. The consultation paper explains that the crucial distinction is between an independent investigation and a full judicially-led hearing in the form of an FAI. It has identified options which would meet the desired aim of an independent investigation in all cases, and build on the existing system of Crown investigation of deaths, while avoiding some of the problems of mandatory FAIs in every such case. These include:

  • An investigation by the procurator fiscal and exercise of discretion by the Lord Advocate on completion of that investigation to instruct a FAI; or
  • A case review investigation by a public authority (not the health board in whose area the death occurred), such as the Mental Welfare Commission or a different health board, combined with the continuation of the Lord Advocate's duty to investigate the death and a discretionary power to initiate an FAI.

2.40 Although Questions 5a and b set out an 'either or option' not all respondents answered in this way, with a small number of respondents answering either 'yes' or 'no' at both questions and others answering only one of the questions. Nevertheless, the figures set out in Table 6 below suggest that the majority preferred the option described at Question 5a, the independent investigation by the procurator fiscal with the Lord Advocate retaining his traditional role.

Table 6: Question 5a & 5b - Response by Respondent Type

Respondent Type

5a

5b

Yes

No

N/A

Yes

No

N/A

Insurance industry bodies or firms

1

-

3

-

1

3

Legal bodies or firms

6

3

5

1

8

5

Local authorities

4

1

2

2

3

2

Public bodies

4

4

7

8

1

6

Representative groups

2

-

7

2

2

5

Total Organisations

(17)

(8)

(24)

(13)

(15)

(21)

Individuals

3

-

5

0

2

6

TOTAL

20

8

29

13

17

27

2.41 Sixteen respondents made a further comment at Question 5a and seventeen at Question 5b. Given that a number of respondents either cross-referenced between questions or made all their comments at one of the questions, the analysis presented below covers both questions.

2.42 Those respondents who expressed a preference for an investigation by the procurator fiscal and exercise of discretion by the Lord Advocate on completion of that investigation to instruct a FAI (Option A) sometimes simply noted that the current arrangements appear to work satisfactorily and hence should not undergo significant change.

2.43 Other points made in support of Option A included that an element of discretion as to the type and level of investigation should be retained. It was also suggested that there should be consistency in the approach used to investigate all deaths of mental health patients who have been compulsorily detained and that Option A offers this consistency. However, some respondents did suggest that, in line with Lord Cullen's recommendation relating to compulsory detention, there may be a case for making the FAI mandatory.

2.44 In expressing its concerns about Option A, the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland suggested that holding an FAI for all of those subject to detention under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, would be disproportionate, could be distressing for families and would risk diverting attention from other deaths which may be more appropriate for investigation.

2.45 The positive case put forward in support of a case review investigation by a public authority such as the Mental Welfare Commission or a different health board (Option B), included that it would appear to offer greater transparency. It was also suggested that an 'expert authority' such as the Mental Welfare Commission could provide a higher level of scrutiny and, by extension, ensure that all areas where practice could be improved are identified. Very much in line with this view, the Royal College of Psychiatrists reported that there is strong support for this option from within their membership. The College went on to note that there is already a requirement to report suicides, sudden unexplained deaths and deaths where there is a concern about healthcare contributing to the death to the procurator fiscal and that the discretionary power to have a FAI would offer sufficient safeguards. They further noted that would be little public interest in having an automatic FAI for a patient who is has been compulsorily detained but who dies an expected death from an unrelated physical health problem and that:

"Making an FAI mandatory in all such cases was viewed as unduly legalistic, in that it will impose large numbers of elaborate, expensive and drawn-out judicial procedures upon families, clinicians and services with no discernible benefit in prospect to justify it."

2.46 In their extensive comments, both the SHRC and EHRC noted the need for any investigation or review to comply with Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The SHRC clarified that there is a particular obligation to provide explanations for deaths in custody or detention and that the Court of Human Rights also recognises the need for increased vigilance in reviewing cases where someone is in a position of inferiority and powerlessness, such as if confined in a psychiatric hospital. They went on to set out that Article 2 compliance requires: independence; effectiveness; promptness and reasonable expedition; public scrutiny; involvement of next of kin; and to have been initiated by the State. They concluded that:

"...the second option [Option B] could comply with Article 2 requirements if implemented in the following form: an initial investigation by an independent public body to rule out deaths from natural causes; in all other circumstances, a mandatory FAI would be triggered."

2.47 In its own response, the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland also commented on how any possible arrangements would work in practice, reporting that that they believe the current system to be confusing. For example, they pointed out that at present the procurator fiscal is not notified of every death of a patient and that the Crown Guidance to medical practitioners specifies that suicides and deaths in legal custody should be notified but does not specify deaths whilst under mental health detention. They also noted that there is a separate system for notification of suicides to Healthcare Improvement Scotland and that there is also a system of local case review by clinical services. The Commission's proposed solution includes a statutory requirement to notify any death of a patient subject to a compulsory order under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 to the procurator fiscal and the Mental Welfare Commission. Their response[3] sets out further detail on the proposed approach, also noting that:

"Following such notification, the Commission would undertake a review of the case notes by a medically qualified person, to determine if there are any factors requiring more detailed investigation. If there are, a Commission investigator would initiate a more formal review....The MWC would keep the fiscal advised throughout the process, and would advise the fiscal if it believed there were grounds for an FAI, either instead of or following the review overseen by the MWC. The Lord Advocate would retain full discretion to initiate an FAI at any stage."

2.48 Other respondents also raised issues that required further clarification, although some of these focused more on the definition and scope of compulsory detention rather than the specific options. On this point the principal issue was whether individuals subject to community-based compulsory treatment orders, suspension of detention and welfare guardianship orders may also fall within the definition of compulsory detention. On a connected point it was suggested that consideration should be given to extending the proposed approach to cover the death of patients who have recently been discharged from detention and to voluntary patients in psychiatric hospitals. The case made was that otherwise such deaths may not be the subject of any inquiry even where they might raise questions of wider public interest.

2.49 The EHRC and the Scottish Prison Service raised the issue of prisoner deaths and their concerns that an FAI for all prisoner deaths may not be appropriate or necessary. Noting that the death of a prisoner may be clearly due to natural causes, both respondents suggested there would be no wider public interest in holding a FAI. This led the EHRC to conclude that an approach similar to Option B could be better suited to reviewing the death of prisoners and that a body such as Healthcare Improvement Scotland might have the necessary expertise and experience to carry out the investigations.

2.50 However, some other respondents had reservations about Option B. For example, the Care Inspectorate saw merit in the option but went on to report that their experience suggests there can be issues when deaths may be investigated by public authorities which are subsequently involved as parties to an FAI, and which may be subjected to criticism in the course of that FAI.

2.51 Other concerns included that Option B would not command a sufficient level of respect and the powers available would be less than those available to the Lord Advocate in an FAI. It was also suggested that the resources of an organisation such as the Mental Welfare Commission could be put under considerable strain.

2.52 Finally, a small number of respondents saw potential in both approaches being available. For example, South Lanarkshire Council suggested that although they are presented as alternatives, the discretionary powers offered with Option B could be useful in some cases and consideration should be given as to allowing them to sit alongside Option A. It was also suggested that there would be nothing to preclude a review being held in addition to the Crown's investigations.

Question 6: What impact do you think that the proposals in relation to the mandatory categories of FAIs will have on you, your organisation or community?

2.53 Thirty four respondents commented on the impact the mandatory categories proposals could have on themselves as individuals, their organisation or their community.

2.54 A number of respondents were of the view that the proposals would have minimal or no impact on themselves or the area in which they worked. Those taking this view included the four Insurance Industry Respondents and a number of those associated with the legal profession and the justice system. For example, the Society of Solicitor Advocates expected there to be no impact, whilst others suggested any impact would be minimal. Some of those who suggested a minimal impact pointed to a possible small increase in the number of FAI cases with Sheriff Crowe anticipating a small impact of one or two cases a year. The Sheriffs' Association summed up a common view as follows:

"While we must be cautious in expressing a view without the necessary data re. the anticipated number of cases, in our opinion the recommendations to extend the mandatory categories of death (to include persons arrested or detained by police and children in secure care) should not result in a significant increase in levels of FAI business."

2.55 A number of other respondents also pointed to the possibility that they would be involved in more FAIs. For example, West Lothian Council noted that if the deaths of children in secure care were to be included in the mandatory category then they are likely to be represented in more FAIs. Some respondents saw the potential for their involvement to increase significantly. For example, the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland noted that taking forward the option outlined at 5b (above) would have an impact on them. Whilst suggesting that the increase in costs to the Commission would be likely to modest they also pointed to the need to find the necessary resources. The Care Inspectorate also noted that this option could have resource implications for their organisation.

2.56 Also commenting on the resourcing issue, HSE suggested that the proposals will increase the number of FAIs to which HSE gives evidence, and thereby increase pressure on HSE's resources. The Scottish Legal Aid Board noted that, if amendment of the mandatory categories results in investigations into a greater number of deaths, this could impact on expenditure from the Legal Aid Fund. The Board further noted that with an estimated 75% of the Scottish population qualifying for civil legal aid an increase in the number of mandatory FAIs would be likely to increase expenditure incurred against the Fund.

2.57 Finally on the resourcing theme, Victim Support Scotland highlighted that increasing the categories for which an FAI is mandatory will result in an increase in the number of witnesses and bereaved friends and relatives who may require support. They went on to explain that their current funding does not cover services for families taking part in FAIs but that, if their remit were to be extended, these resource implications would need to be addressed.

2.58 A small number of respondents commented on the possible impact of the proposals on bereaved families and of the benefits of greater openness, including better information being available to relatives and friends affected by the death. Two respondents particularly noted the potential impact on the families of a Scottish national who has died abroad under suspicious or unexplained circumstances (this issue is the focus of Section 3). Others commented on the positive impact of the proposals if they resulted in further deaths being avoided, although the Care Inspectorate had concerns that the adoption of Option B could have a negative impact for vulnerable people if it led to delays in regulatory action.

2.59 Finally, a small number of respondents expressed their disappointment at the likely impact of the proposals put forward. SCID felt the proposals will have little will have little or no impact on families bereaved by road collisions, whilst the STUC commented that if mandatory FAIs into deaths as a result of occupational disease had been proposed this could have helped reduce exposure to occupational disease and the resultant needless deaths.


Contact

Email: Marisa Strutt