Care Assessments (Parental Input)

Health and Community Care – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:00 pm on 9th December 2004.

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Photo of Margaret Mitchell Margaret Mitchell Conservative 2:00 pm, 9th December 2004

To ask the Scottish Executive whether it supports the principle that parents should have an input into the assessment of the health care of their children. (S2O-4521)

Photo of Rhona Brankin Rhona Brankin Labour

We support the general principle that parents should be involved in the assessment of their child's health care needs and in decisions about their health care. However, there are circumstances where that might not be appropriate.

Photo of Margaret Mitchell Margaret Mitchell Conservative

Is the minister aware that some elderly carers are taking out legal guardianship or power of attorney because they do not think that their views on the health care of their children are being adequately taken into account in the implementation of the recommendations in the "The same as you?" report? What steps will she take to rectify the situation and ensure that their views are taken into account without their having to go through a legal process?

Photo of Rhona Brankin Rhona Brankin Labour

I would be interested to find out more about those cases. Obviously, I would be extremely concerned if that were the case. If the member could furnish me with further information about the problems, I would be happy to consider them in the context of the carers strategy.

Photo of Patrick Harvie Patrick Harvie Green

Does the minister agree that some of the circumstances in which parental involvement might not be appropriate relate to the sexual health strategy and the issues on which, as she will know, we keenly await news from the Executive?

Photo of Rhona Brankin Rhona Brankin Labour

I am aware that, in relation to the forthcoming sexual health strategy, we will be examining such issues. It is hugely important to involve parents wherever possible. That is not always possible, but there will always be a presumption of information sharing whenever the welfare or well-being of a child is considered to be at risk.