By Tim Hardy
World’s slowest hand clap for the Information Rights Tribunal who chose Friday afternoon before the long Easter weekend to explain their decision on the NHS risk register and to rubbish Lansley’s refusal to release the information:
The public interest in understanding the risks involved in such wide-ranging reforms of the NHS in the circumstances just described would have been very high, if not exceptional, in this case.
Too bad it’s only a few weeks too late to prevent the government from railroading through the Health and Social Care bill while denying MPs the information necessary for an informed debate.
Someone’s going to get a nice reward for delaying this. Keep an eye on the next honours list. I expect it’s got to be worth a knighthood at least.
From the evidence it is clear that the NHS reforms were introduced in an exceptional way. There was no indication prior to the White Paper that such wide-ranging reforms were being considered. The White Paper was published without prior consultation. It was published within a very short period after the Coalition Government came into power. It was unexpected. Consultation took place afterwards over what appears to us a very short period considering the extent of the proposed reforms. The consultation hardly changed policy but dealt largely with implementation. Even more significantly the Government decided to press ahead with some of the policies even before laying a Bill before Parliament. The whole process had to be paused because of the general alarm at what was happening.