Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc and Care) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 3 March 2016.

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Photo of Mary Scanlon Mary Scanlon Conservative

I thank the minister for her response and for the very reasonable hearing that I got at stage 2. I am grateful that she has lodged amendment 2.

Amendment 2 was born out of contact with a constituent, Mrs Blan Bremner, whose mother, Mrs Doreen MacIntyre, died in a care home in Inverness. Mrs Bremner gave me permission to use her name and asked me what I could do in this session of Parliament to stop people who abuse, neglect and maltreat elderly people in care homes from simply walking out and getting another job. I am very grateful to the minister for lodging amendment 2.

Given that I am not on the committee and am not steeped in understanding of the bill, I want to ask for some clarity. At stage 2, the minister said:

“In addition—and more specifically in relation to the offences in part 3 of the bill—a court may, when convicting an individual, refer that individual to Disclosure Scotland if it thinks that it might be appropriate for the individual to be considered for listing.” —[Official Report, Health and Sport Committee, 26 January 2016; c 16.]

I heard what she said today, but that response at stage 2 slightly bothers me, because it seems to bring a degree of uncertainty to say that the court, when convicting an individual, may refer to Disclosure Scotland only when the court thinks that it is appropriate for that person to be considered for listing. I know that Mrs Blan Bremner certainly would not like anyone to suffer in the way that her mother did. I want to make sure that the provision is watertight.