State guardians in Scotland are pushing dentists to surrender sensitive information about patients under 18, it has emerged.
The Daily Mail reports that staff at a dental practice in Aberdeenshire have received “aggressive” phone calls from named persons asking for details on past check-ups and tooth decay.
The state officials are operating in areas piloting the controversial Named Person scheme.
The scheme appoints a state guardian to every child in Scotland, from birth to age 18, to monitor their ‘wellbeing’.
It is not due to come into full statutory force until August but named persons have already faced strong criticism for detailed investigations into family life, based on trivial concerns.
According to the Daily Mail, an anonymous dentist said: “These callers are pushing quite hard for information”.
“They want to know the date of the last check-up and what level of decay was found, that kind of thing.
“When we say we need permission to comply with the request, it often becomes quite aggressive. They say: ‘You are being deliberately obstructive. You don’t need the parents’ permission any more because we are acting as Named Persons.'”
Simon Calvert, Deputy Director for Public Affairs at the Institute, described the Named Person scheme as a “Civil Service tick-box approach to family life, patronising parents, over-assessing children and trampling on people’s right to confidentiality”.
On Tuesday it emerged that a quarter of children in Scotland already have a named person, despite the official launch of the scheme still being three months away.
Responding to the news the No to Named Persons Campaign (NO2NP), of which The Christian Institute is a part, said this was more evidence of the Scottish Government’s “determination to steamroll ahead with this hugely unpopular scheme, despite vast opposition from the public”.
In April a father talked candidly of his experience with a pilot version of the plans, in an article published in Scotland on Sunday.
He told the newspaper that his two-year-old’s named person kept a 60-page record listing “trivial” concerns such as the fact that the boy sucked his thumb and had a runny nose.
The level of information recorded left him feeling “shocked and vulnerable”.
A decision on the legal standing of the legislation is expected to be delivered in the next few weeks by the UK Supreme Court, which has the power to put a halt to the plans.
If you live in Scotland and are over the age of 16 you can sign NO2NP’s petition.