A Holyrood committee is inviting views from the public on the Scottish Government bill placing duties on health boards regarding forensic medical services for victims of sexual offences.

The Forensic Medical Services (Victims of Sexual Offences) (Scotland) Bill seeks to place on a statutory footing the current arrangements under which forensic medical examinations are carried out by health boards under a Memorandum of Understanding between Police Scotland and the boards.

The Health & Sport Committee is keen to hear views on the bill, and specifically would like to receive comments on: 

  • What are the key advantages and disadvantages of placing the examination of victims of sexual offences (and harmful sexual behaviour by children under the age of 12) by health boards on a statutory basis? 
  • What are the key benefits of providing forensic examination on a self-referral basis (whereby victims can undergo a forensic medical examination without first having reported the incident to the police)? What problems may arise from this process?
  • Are there any issues with the proposal to restrict self-referral to people over 16 years old?
  • Are there any issues with the health board storing and retaining evidence gathered during self-referred forensic examinations?
  • Do you have any other comments to make on the bill?  

Click here for further information. The call for views is open until 30 January 2020.