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New legislation to protect GPs in Scotland unveiled

11 December 2007

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A new law protecting GPs, nurses and midwives working in the community in Scotland from being attacked has been laid before parliament.

The Emergency Workers Act already safeguards ambulance workers, doctors, nurses and midwives operating in a hospital or responding to a 999 call.

But this will now be extended to cover GPs in their surgeries and other health workers carrying out their day-to-day tasks.

It comes after Dr Helen Jackson, 56, was allegedly attacked by a man with a knife at her surgery in Glasgow earlier this year.

Public health minister Shona Robison pledged to act at the time, and said: “We owe our NHS staff a huge debt of gratitude for the work they do on a daily basis, sometimes in challenging circumstances.

“Sadly there are a mindless minority who think it is acceptable to abuse and attack health workers, ignoring the vital service they provide and the terrible impact this kind of behaviour can have on staff morale.

“The brutal knife attack on a GP in her surgery in Glasgow back in August was a shocking incident and highlighted that health workers working in the community are vulnerable.

“This extension to the Emergency Workers Act will provide additional protection for GPs, nurses and midwives working in the community.”

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Scottish Government