Labour’s Jackie Baillie and First Minister Humza Yousaf.

By Bill Heaney

First Minister Humza Yousaf and his SNP colleagues have remarkably rejected the majority of the proposed ‘Milly’s Law’ amendments to the Patient Safety Commissioner for Scotland Bill.

Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Dame Jackie Baillie said: “This is a deeply disappointing decision from this SNP-Green Government and exposes the false promise by Humza Yousaf to do right by the victims of this scandal.

“The families who have been campaigning for years to get justice for their loved ones have once again been badly let down by the SNP and the Greens.

“Whilst I am pleased Labour have managed to strengthen this bill in some areas, I am saddened that the SNP and Greens have failed to do the right thing and support Milly’s Law fully and unequivocally.

“The tragic scandal at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Royal Children’s Hospital [where patients including Milly died in controversial circumstances] has highlighted the need for patients and their families to be at the heart of everything the NHS does.

“Sadly, today’s actions reveal that this is not a sentiment shared by Humza Yousaf’s Government.”

“As we heard today, warm words are no substitute for action. Scottish Labour will continue to fight for greater powers for patients so that nobody else will be forced to go through what the victims of this scandal have been forced to endure.”

Named after Milly Main, Labour’s plans aim to reset the balance between families and powerful public bodies and ensure that bereaved families are at the heart of the response to disasters and public scandals.

At Stage 2 of this bill, the SNP and the Greens teamed up to vote down Labour amendments which would have delivered Milly’s Law.

Milly Main’s mother Kimberley Darroch campaigning with Labour leader Anas Sarwar.

SNP and Green MSPs voted down Labour’s plans to introduce:

  • Greater powers of accountability regards the Patient Safety Charter as to health care provider’s compliance with the charter;
  • A duty on the Patient Safety Commissioner for Scotland to advocate for those affected by a major incident in relation to the safety of health care;
  • A duty on the Commissioner to determine whether it is in the public interest to respond to a major incident, and if so, they should ensure patients affected and family members are aware of the Commissioner’s role;
  • A duty to provide patients affected and family members with information relating to sources of support, including information on accessing legal support, and details of any investigations or inquiries relating to the major incident;
  • A duty to provide information for whistleblowers on how to disclose information relating to the major incident;
  • A copy of a report by the Commissioner into a major incident, which can be used in legal proceedings, must be provided to the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.

Top picture: Milly and her mother Kimberley Darroch.

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