The Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 and how it affects people with communication difficulties

On 6th April 2016, the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 was given Royal Assent after previously being passed by the Scottish Parliament. Part 4 of the Act relates to the Provision of Communication Equipment. It states that:

“The Scottish Ministers must, to such extent as they consider necessary to meet all reasonable requirements, provide or secure the provision of—

A) communication equipment, and

B) support in using that equipment,

to any person who has lost their voice or has difficulty speaking.”

This Act could make a big difference to the lives of many people with communication difficulties who do not have a communication aid. The Act has not yet been given a Commencement date, but a lot of work is being done within the Scottish Government and in Health Boards to introduce it in 2017.