Named Person ruling
Joint news release by The Highland Council and NHS Highland
The Highland Council and NHS Highland are pleased that the UK Supreme Court has today supported the aims of the named person role, and that the attempt of the NO2NP group to have the role declared unlawful has been unsuccessful. The Council welcomes the Supreme Court’s endorsement of the aims of the Children & Young People’s Act as both legitimate and benign, and that the named person is a reasonable measure to support early intervention.
The Supreme Court has stated that the information sharing provisions need to be described more clearly in the new legislation, including to emphasise the voluntary nature of advice, information and help offered to children and families. This is in line with the guidance across Highland as part of the practice model that has been in place since 2010.
Leader of Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson said: “The role of the named person as a single point of contact, was requested by parents who sought advice or help for their children. It has allowed earlier support to be provided, and has reduced the number of children with escalating needs. It has been a success story, that continues to be very much supported in internal and external evaluations and by parent groups.”
NHS Highland chief executive Elaine Mead said: “NHS Highland have been committed to the principles of the Named Person service through the development of the Highland Practice Model. We see the strengths of the approach in supporting family health and wellbeing across universal services.”
Councillor Drew Millar, Chair of Highland Council's Education Children & Adult Services Committee said: “It has always been best practice for Head Teachers and Health Visitors to offer early advice to parents. I am not surprised that the Supreme Court has confirmed this is reasonable, legitimate and helpful. Much of the misinformation circulated about the role has been very unhelpful, and I hope we can now all agree to move forward together.
Bill Alexander, Director of Care & Learning said: “The principles of the named person role have been upheld. The Highland Practice Model is based on existing legislation relating to information sharing, and I am sure that will be reflected in the work that is undertaken to ensure greater clarity in the new legislation”