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Augmentative and Alternative Communication

From 19th March 2018 , anyone who has difficulty speaking has the right to communication equipment & support to use it.

Commencement of Part 4 of the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 letter from Jamie MacDougall, Deputy Director, Care, Support and Rights Division click here.

Commencement of Part 4 of the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 – the Provision of Communication Equipment –  will take place on Monday 19 March 2018. The commencement is the culmination of the collective efforts, drive and dedication of many people and organisations over several years. For the first time in legislation in Scotland there is a duty that ensures that children and adults can access the equipment and support they need to be able to participate fully in society. 

What does this mean? Part 4 comprises section 33 of the Act, which inserts a new section 46A into the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 which will confer a legislative duty on the Scottish Ministers to provide or secure the provision of communication equipment and support in using that equipment to such an extent as they consider necessary, to meet all reasonable requirements, to any person who has lost their voice or has difficulty speaking. 

Who will have this duty?  On 19 March 2018, the duty will become exercisable by Health Boards and one Special Health Board, the State Hospitals Board for Scotland. Where in the Health Board context delegated arrangements are in place under the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014, these delegated arrangements will apply to the new duty. If they are not under the auspices of delegated arrangements then the duty will rest with the Health Board. 

Where can I find information about this legislation? 

Who can give you advice? 

For Health & Social Care Partnerships (HSCPs):

Alison Gray, Glasgow HSCP - [email protected] - 0141 201 7205

Arlene Walker– East Dunbartonshire - [email protected] - 0141 355 2200

Fiona Hunter, Renfrewshire HSCP - [email protected] - 0141 314 4660

Gillian Callander, Inverclyde HSCP - [email protected] - 01475 715295

Sheila Downie, West Dunbartonshire - [email protected] - 01389 817463

Margaret Ritchie, East Renfrewshire HSCP - [email protected] – 800 7117

For Acute:

Valerie Campbell [email protected] - 0141 347 8660

For general information:

Julie Murray, Board Executive Lead - [email protected] - 0141 451 0746


Last Updated: 19 November 2019