OPPONENTS of the plans to appoint a named person for every child in Scotland have claimed an "army" of GPs, housing officers and charities will spy on families when the law comes into force in August.

However, one of Scotland’s leading social workers condemned the warnings as "inflammatory nonsense", while the head of children’s charity Barnardo’s said campaigners had got it wrong.

Quoting minutes from meetings in 2012 and 2013, the No to Named Persons (No2NP) campaign said a "named person implementation board" had revealed Government plans to use GPs, housing officers and charities to invade the privacy of families when the scheme is implemented.

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Simon Calvert, spokesman for NO2NP, said the details of the board’s work were "horrifying" and added: “Implementing these plans would take a battering ram to the front door of every house in the country. The Government has got to get its head around the simple fact that families just do not want an invasion force of state-sponsored snoopers gathering data on their private lives.”

His comments were based on minutes of meetings chaired by children’s minister Aileen Campbell, and others, which involved police, civil servants, councils, social workers, health boards, children’s charities and public sector unions.

The meetings discussed the need for housing workers to pass on information of concern about child welfare, especially if they are the only people going into a home regularly. Another meeting said charities should share information with other agencies and addresses anxieties from some professions. One passage quoted said GPs may have concerns about patient confidentiality and read: “The Minister was keen that more work with GPs was done to break the barriers”.

However the minutes revealed the Scottish Information Commissioner was not concerned about the sharing of information wiithout consent if there was a risk to a child’s wellbeing, and had stated: “Information about children should be shared appropriately when justified”.

Mr Calvert said the board had been scrapped after concerns from Police Scotland that the focus on high-risk children was being lost.

He added: “This board was set up to oversee the implementation of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act, which was passed by Holyrood. Their cavalier attitude to privacy will send a shudder down the spines of parents and children throughout Scotland. They are so sure of themselves that they’ve lost all sense of proportion.

However Barnardo’s Scotland director Martin Crewe said the board referred to by No2NP never existed. “There was never a ‘named person implementation board’ in operation,” he said.

Instead a programme board had examined all aspects of implementing the Getting It Right For Every Child policy, including the named person proposals. It continued until the Children and Young People act was passed, when its role was taken over by the National Implementation Steering Group, which is still in existence, he added.

Mr Crewe added: “The comments around battering rams and state-sponsored snoopers are unhelpful as all responsible agencies are concerned with how best to support children, families and young people.”

Alistair Gaw, president of Social Work Scotland, which represents Scotland’s social work chiefs, said of Mr Calvert’s comments: “This is inflammatory nonsense. The proposals for named persons have been scrutinised at every turn and the aim of the named person is to reduce the need for state intervention, by acting early to protect our most vulnerable children.

“Everybody has a duty of care - any public servant who has a concern about the wellbeing of a child has a duty to raise that. There is absolutely nothing new in that."

“The history of child death tragedies is littered with instances where agencies have failed to communicate. The vast majority were about children who were on the radar of agencies, but the right information was not shared at the right time and tragedy ensued.

“What named person does and what Girfec does is to ensure children get the right intervention before problems escalate and it is about less, not more state interference.”