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Last Updated: Friday, 31 August 2007, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Minister in pledge on GP safety
Dr Helen Jackson was stabbed at her surgery in Glasgow
A plea by doctors' leaders to introduce greater protection for family GPs will be acted upon, the Scottish Executive has promised.

Minister for Public Health, Shona Robison, said she was horrified at news of the stabbing of a doctor at a GP practice in Glasgow's west end.

Following the incident on Thursday the British Medical Association has called for safety laws to be improved.

Ms Robison said steps were being taken to better protect primary care staff.

The current Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act 2005 was brought in to protect many staff in medical and essential services, but it did not cover staff working in GP surgeries.

The BMA's Scottish General Practitioners Committee wants that piece of legislation to be extended to GPs.

Primary care staff in particular I have always argued were the key group of staff which should have always be included in that legislation
Shona Robison
Minister for Public Health

Dr Dean Marshall, the committee's chairman, said: "GPs and other primary health care staff are probably at more risk than those who work in hospitals and it seems to be incredible that they were specifically excluded from this legislation.

"But that is only part of it and that is after the event and we should look at other things to minimise the risk to those of us who work in primary care."

The safety debate was sparked after Dr Helen Jackson, 56, was assaulted at her practice in Hyndland Road, in the west end of Glasgow, at about 0950 BST.

She was taken to the city's Western Infirmary after receiving wounds to her body. Her condition was later described as "stable".

'More vulnerable'

On Friday, Ms Robison wished Dr Jackson a speedy recovery and said she had already spoken to Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill about "expediting the extension" of the current legislation.

Speaking on Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme, she said: "Primary care staff in particular I have always argued were the key group of staff which should have always be included in that legislation because they work in the community often in relative isolation with not many people around and about them and they were always more vulnerable.

"It is just unfortunate that those calls weren't heeded when the legislation was going through, but we intend to make that right now, as quickly as we can."

Ms Robison said the zero-tolerance "tough line" approach should remain.

  • A 62-year-old man has appeared in court in connection with the incident at the surgery on Thursday.

    Reaction to the attack from the local communty

    Man charged after doctor stabbing
    30 Aug 07 |  Glasgow and West


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