The government continues to bury the risk of the NHS reforms

Alex Hern looks at the ongoing battle to ensure the publication of the NHS risk register

 

The saga surrounding the release of the assessment of the risk caused to the NHS by the government’s top-down reorganisation – the so-called NHS risk register – looks like it may be heading to conclusion, with a hearing scheduled for early March over whether the government has the right to refuse to make the document public.

Their will to fight is likely to be sapped by the discovery by the Daily Mirror of the likely conclusions.

The Mirror reported:

Documents obtained by the Mirror show NHS bosses have warned the shake-up will endanger patients, lead to staff cuts and do lasting damage to the reputation of the service…

The risk registers reveal the deep anxiety across the NHS at the potentially disastrous consequences of the Government’s reforms.

They warn many GPs are not ready to take over their new commissioning roles and that the shake-up has led to low staff morale, the loss of key NHS workers and widespread instability within the health service. As well as warning of deaths, the South Central authority fears the reforms could also lead to abuse of patients, such as that at Winterbourne View care home.

These dangers are similar to those uncovered by Left Foot Forward when we revealed the contents of the London risk register:

Talking about “planning for and implementing the Government’s White Paper reforms”, it euphemistically concludes that:

The consequences of this risk could be patients receiving sub-optimal care.

The consequences of abolishing primary care trusts:

…could be that the quality of the commissioning of health care may be poor, both in securing the best health outcomes for London’s population and in maximising value for money.

Finally, and most shockingly, the document covers the risk to children that loss of expertise could lead to, and concludes:

The consequences of this may be preventable harm to children,  damage to the reputation and loss of public confidence in NHS London and the NHS in London.

The fight over the release of the document has been going on for almost eighteen months now. It started in November 2010, when John Healey MP requested a copy. In December that year, he was rejected, and his appeal took until July 2011 to conclude.

In November last year, he made a second request to the Department of Health, under the Freedom of Information act. The government again stalled, and, after the information commissioner ruled in Healey’s favour, took the appeal to a tribunal.

The government is clearly – transparently – attempting to stall release of the information until after the health bill goes through the Lords and Commons. If their opposition is forced to rely on leaks and minor excepts, which is the best we have, then they will find it harder to put together the strong argument against the reorganisation that this bill is prompting.

There are other avenues of attack over the bill, however. One which is looking increasingly successful is the government’s own e-petition website. The petition calling for the bill to be dropped has just broken 95,000 signatures, bringing it perilously close to success. Sign it, and help save the NHS.

See also:

NHS productivity gain is just the latest evidence that socialised medicine brings down costsDaniel Elton, February 13th 2012

Look Left – Beginning of the end on the NHS billAlex Hern, February 10th 2012

The Financial Times comes out against the NHS billAlex Hern, February 9th 2012

Miliband goes on attack as fight to save the NHS stepped upShamik Das, February 6th 2012

NHS assessment of Lansley’s plan’s risk makes for sober readingAlex Hern, November 24th 2011

50 Responses to “The government continues to bury the risk of the NHS reforms”

  1. L Minx

    RT @alexsmith1982 Risk regstr likely to say NHS bill will "endanger patients, lead to staff cuts and do lasting damage" http://t.co/4IGiCU5E

  2. neilrfoster

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  3. Stephanie Mather

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  5. Dr Marc Bush

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  6. Mr. Sensible

    I’m hearing tonight that the petition has reached 100000 signatures. What has the government got to hide on that assessment?

  7. Keira Evans-Determan

    The government continues to bury the risk of the NHS reforms (Left Foot Forward): Alex Hern looks at the ongoing… http://t.co/JAk19x8C

  8. John D W MacDonald

    The government continues to bury the risk of the NHS reforms | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/QruBaF0f

  9. Nick Theobald

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  10. Celia Kelly

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  11. Frank Ward

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  12. David Short

    RT @leftfootfwd: 100k sigs, ConHome & so many medical prof bodies opposed it hurts AND a -ve risk asssmnt: http://t.co/fxVr8mr4 #savetheNHS

  13. AntennaRed

    100k signatures, ConHome and so many medical prof bodies opposed it hurts, AND a negative risk assessment: http://t.co/WYltnTBM #savetheNHS

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  16. Mikey Franklin

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  17. Owen Williams

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  18. Dan Smith

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  19. Teflon Dave

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  20. Martin Steel

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  22. sue gordon

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  23. How the coalition is breaking the NHS | Left Foot Forward

    […] also: • The government continues to bury the risk of the NHS reforms – Alex Hern, February 14th […]

  24. Richard Overton

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  25. Kevin Richards

    Lala you have definitely got this one wrong @leftfootfwd: The government continues to bury the risk of the NHS reforms http://t.co/ey1Uvehe

  26. Lynn Sheridan

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  27. H. O.

    RT @leftfootfwd: The government continues to bury the risk of the NHS reforms http://t.co/k3cqx8Xr

  28. Terry Bryan

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  29. Love the Bees

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  30. Christine Hill

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  31. LabourLordsUK

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  32. Michael James Lord

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  33. liane gomersall

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  34. Mike Smart

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  35. Alan199

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  36. Lydia N Livingston

    And here's a report on how the government continues 2 bury the risk of the NHS reforms: http://t.co/BVLjuKKd #BBCqt #SaveTheNHS #DropTheBill

  37. Cherry McCormack

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  38. keith ferguson

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  39. KEVIN COCHRANE

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  40. Bern O'Donoghue

    RT @leftfootfwd: The government continues to bury the risk of the #NHS reforms http://t.co/1kgWeJ1M Write to your MP & ask for #transparency

  41. Diane Hain

    100k signatures, ConHome and so many medical prof bodies opposed it hurts, AND a negative risk assessment: http://t.co/WYltnTBM #savetheNHS

  42. Izzy Green

    As Info Comm. says Govmt must release the NHS risk register, here's why it's so important: http://t.co/BVLjuKKd #savethenhs

  43. Martin Steel

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  44. OMAR CHABBI

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  45. House Of Twits

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  46. Nick H.

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  47. Janet Graham

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  48. Information Tribunal orders Lansley: Publish NHS Risk Register “immediately” | Left Foot Forward

    […] Reports suggest the Risk Register will warn that the NHS shake-up will “endanger patients, lead to staff cuts and do lasting damage to the reputation of the service”, while the NHS London risk assessment (pdf) of the top-down reorganisation of the NHS warned of the damaging effects of the reforms on the health service in London. […]

  49. Look Left – Spotlight shone on legal aid cuts as Clarke urged to think again | Left Foot Forward

    […] Reports suggest the Risk Register will warn that the NHS shake-up will “endanger patients, lead to staff cuts and do lasting damage to the reputation of the service”, while the NHS London risk assessment (pdf) of the top-down reorganisation of the NHS warned of the damaging effects of the reforms on the health service in London. […]

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