Karen Adam is now the MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast

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24 December 2004

Emergency workers law fails to protect vital staff - TUC

Leaders of Scotland’s doctors, nurses and midwives have criticised the Scottish Executive for failing to protect vital healthcare workers under legislation debated in the Scottish parliament this week. The BMA, RCN and Royal College of Midwives claim that the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Bill, which makes it a specific offence to assault an emergency worker, has created significant anomalies which are not supportable. The three organisations called on members of the Scottish parliament (MSPs) to support an amendment lodged by SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson in the debate on stage 3 of the consultation. The amendment calls for all doctors, registered nurses and midwives to be extended the same level of protection afforded to ambulance, fire and police personnel, who will covered at all times when on duty. James Kennedy, Director, RCN in Scotland, said: 'We are told that this legislation will send a clear message that violence against emergency workers is not acceptable. However, the message that we are hearing is that the safety of nurses, midwives and doctors working in the community is not as important as that of emergency service personnel and hospital based staff.'

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