Learning Review

The outcome of a Learning Review (which is available to view here) centres on the adult protection response to the circumstances of three vulnerable elderly men. It identifies missed opportunities at various stages by agencies, The Highland Council, the National Health Service Highland and Police Scotland, to identify the risks to the brothers, and also, importantly, the opportunity to protect them from further harm including, and in particular, financial harm.

We note the findings of this Learning Review. These will be considered in detail. We offer our apologies to the family where the actions of the agencies involved may not have fully met their expectations or the McCulloch brothers’ needs. 

Police Scotland is reviewing the evidence gathered during criminal investigations carried out in 2017 and 2018, to ensure that all appropriate actions were taken at that time. This will ascertain whether any further criminal investigation is required. 

The Care Inspectorate in its recent inspection (published in April 2024), with HMICS and Health Improvement Scotland, notes the strength of the multi-agency response to adult support and protection in Highland. Its report concluded that there are effective adult support and protection practices across the Highland Partnership and highlights person-centred practice and clear improvements from the previous inspection. 

Our thoughts remain with the family of Hugh, Roderick and David McCulloch.


Derek Brown  Chief Executive, The Highland Council

Rob Shepherd  Chief Superintendent, Police Scotland

Fiona Davies  Chief Executive, National Health Service Highland

30 May 2024