Fresh fears over Named Person roll-out

There are growing concerns over the roll-out of the controversial Named Person scheme across Scotland after a rise vacancies among health visitors who will take on the role.

Liz Smith has called on the SNP to 'press pause' on the Named Person scheme. Picture: Jane Barlow

Official figures have revealed there are 182 vacancies in Scotland’s NHS for health visitors. This compares to just 144 in March last year, meaning 8.6 per cent of the workforce is unfilled.

Of those 182 vacancies, 26 have lain unfilled for more than three months. The Scottish Conservatives have again urged the SNP to pause the scheme to ensure those tasked with implementing it will be ready.

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Shadow education secretary Liz Smith said: “There are many reasons why the SNP should press pause on this scheme.

“Those who are tasked with implementing it aren’t sure how to, and the families it will affect are unclear on the impact.

“Now we learn there are scores of vacancies across Scotland among the health visitor workforce.

“That’s going to make it even harder for this unpopular and intrusive policy to work.

“It’s typical of the SNP to dream up something like this without bothering to check if there are enough people to take it on.”

The party still wanted to see the policy scrapped altogether, but short of this say ministers should pause the roll-out until resources are in place.

The Named Person role will be filled by teachers and health visitors and provide a point of contact for parents and youngsters to raise a broad range of concerns and seek services.