1.1 This report presents an analysis of responses to a public consultation undertaken by the Scottish Government between October 2014 and January 2015. The consultation document, Proposals for an Offence of Wilful Neglect or Ill-treatment in Health and Social Care Settings, invited views on the Government's proposal to create a new criminal offence of wilful neglect or ill-treatment of people receiving care or treatment in health and social care settings. This offence would be similar to those that currently exist in relation to people with mental illness and adults with incapacity.
About the consultation
1.2 The consultation contained ten questions. It sought views about:
- The type of care settings the offence should cover (Qs 1-4)
- Whether the offence should be based on a care provider's behaviour, or the harm that results to the individual who has been neglected / mistreated (Q5)
- Whether and how the offence should apply to organisations as well as individuals (Qs 6-7)
- What the penalties for such an offence should be and whether the courts should have additional penalty options available for organisations (Qs 8-9)
- The potential impact of the proposals on people with protected equalities characteristics (Q10).
1.3 The consultation questions are listed in full at Annex 1 of this report.
1.4 The consultation document was sent directly to all local authorities and NHS Boards in Scotland and to 50 other organisations with an interest in this area. The consultation paper was also available on the Scottish Government website and was promoted via a press release.
1.5 At the time this consultation was carried out (between October 2014 and January 2015), the Scottish Government was also undertaking a separate consultation on proposals to establish a statutory duty of candour in health and social care services. As the timescales for the two consultations overlapped, and the stakeholders for both consultations were the same, many of the respondents who replied to this consultation referred to the other in their response, and at one respondent submitted a single response for both consultations.
Email: Dan Curran