Rape victims taskforce to look at improving clinical services

Michael Matheson

A group will meet for the first time today to look at how to improve and transform the clinical experience of all victims after reporting sexual assault.

The Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood will lead the Taskforce for the Improvement of Services for Victims of Rape and Sexual Assault to tackle the variation in services offered in different parts of Scotland.

Dr Calderwood said: “Having to undergo a forensic examination is always going to be a difficult and stressful situation but we know we need to make improvements. The taskforce aims to ensure services are built around the patient and available across Scotland.”

She added: “While I do not underestimate the scale of the task, we are not starting from scratch. There are dedicated and motivated professionals in health, justice and our other partners and together we can reshape services to offer a consistent, sympathetic and professional approach to people in their darkest hours.”

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “The current provision within the NHS in Scotland for victims of rape or sexual assault is not satisfactory. We want anyone who has been the victim of such dreadful crimes to have the confidence to come forward knowing they will be supported by justice and health services that fully recognise their needs and make it as easy as possible to start the difficult journey of recovery ahead.”

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