Named person panel

Independent advice on information sharing.

An independent panel is being set up to provide expert advice to ensure the Scottish Government’s named person service is workable.

The Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) Practice Development Panel will lead the development of a code of practice, statutory guidance and other support materials for people working with children and families.

It will be chaired by Ian Welsh, who is Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“I want every child in Scotland to get the best possible start in life, but too many families struggle to navigate the support available to help children thrive.

“The named person service will provide a clear point of contact for a child and their family if and when they need it, and having the right information is vital to ensure the right help is offered at the right time from the right people.

“I know that families and those working with them have raised questions and concerns about how to share information lawfully.

“This independent panel, led by Ian Welsh, will draw on the experience and expertise of people working with children and families to develop a workable, comprehensive and user friendly code of practice, statutory guidance and other support materials that take account of new data protection laws – bringing clarity and certainty on this important issue.”

Ian Welsh said:

“I passionately believe that children and young people should be entitled to the same high standard of support no matter where they live, and know many parents of children living with disability or long term conditions say that they benefit from having a central point of contact who can help them navigate the complex system of care.

“That is why I fully support the creation of the named person service, with proportionate sharing of relevant information, within the law relating to data sharing and upholding children’s and human rights, to help children and young people achieve their potential and to support their wellbeing.

“I look forward to working with other stakeholders to develop a code of practice and supporting guidance to make this a reality.”

The Deputy First Minister has previously stated his intention to establish a GIRFEC Practice Development Panel with an independent chair and broad and relevant stakeholder membership. Further details about the panel’s membership and remit will be confirmed in due course.

Ian Welsh OBE is Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (a national third sector intermediary for a range of health and social care organisations supporting children and adults with disabilities) and has extensive experience in the public, private and third sectors. He is a qualified teacher and a Non-Executive Director for NHS Ayrshire and Arran.

The chair will not receive a fee for his appointment.


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