Politics

Labour’s Anas Sarwar proposes ‘Milly’s Law’ to hand bereaved families improved rights

ANAS Sarwar is putting forward plans to improve rights of bereaved families following the death of a 10-year-old girl at a Glasgow hospital.

The Scottish Labour leader will float the plans to hand relatives access to a a powerful public champion to help reveal the full truth of the circumstances surrounding a death.

The move comes after the experience of Milly Main’s relatives, after the 10-year-old was in remission from leukemia at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow when she caught an infection and died in 2017.

The ‘Milly’s Law’ plans would echo the proposed Hillsborough law which is aimed at helping the families affected by the stadium disaster.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Mr Sarwar said: “No one should feel as if the system shuts down and stops them from getting answers and justice.

“But sadly for far too many families in Scotland that’s the reality.”

Mr Sarwar’s five-point plan involves establishing an “independent public advocate” to act on behalf of bereaved families who would intervene after .

They would take on a role as an adviser and given the authority to set up a panel to promote transparency at an early stage.

The second part of Mr Sarwar’s plan would be a charter for bereaved families which would be binding on all public bodies.

It would set out the obligations of health boards, councils and the police and give whistleblowers the right to appeal to the public champion if they felt the charter had been breached.

The proposals would also improve access to legal advice and representation for families so they could take part in public inquiries.

There would also be a requirement for evidence and findings in major public inquiries to be taken into account at any subsequent criminal trial.

The final part of Labour’s proposals relates to a ‘duty of candour’ for public bodies.

According to the Record, Mr Sarwar will unveil the “Milly’s law” plan tomorrow at his party’s conference.

He said: “The idea actually came from campaigning that I’d seen [mayors] Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram doing in Manchester and Liverpool, related around the so-called Hillsborough law.

“It felt very similar to the situation we’ve seen here in Scotland, in particular with the QEUH and Milly Main’s tragic death being a central example of that.

“We have this approach in Scotland where we try to manage away….issues, conflict, crises, rather than addressing them head on.”

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