James Chalmers blogs regularly on criminal law matters and on 11 December 2007 at http://criminalletters.blogspot.com/2007/12/protecting-doctors-allegedly.html drew attention to a proposed extension to the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act 2005 announced by minister for public health, announced the previous day by Shona Robison: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2007/12/09145133.  This is intended to extend the legislation to cover various health workers.

The 2005 Act provided (among other things) that assaults on certain emergency workers, prosecuted in summary procedure, could be punished by more severe sentences than usually available in summary cases (nine months rather than three). 

In announcing the extension Shona Robison said:

The Emergency Workers Act passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2005 was an important step forward in giving NHS workers greater legal protection. But it doesn’t go far enough.  It covers doctors