Press statement – John Healey MP.

John Healey MP, who first asked for release of the risk register on the Government’s NHS reorganisation in November 2010, welcomed today’s Information Tribunal’s judgement:
“This is the second legal direction to the Government to release the risk register.”
“The judgement backs the public’s right to know about the risks the Government is taking with its NHS plans. It gives strong legal support to a full and open debate about the NHS reorganisation.”
“Ministers must now respect the law, release the risk register in full and let people make up their own minds on the NHS changes.”

“Today’s legal judgement must put an end to the Government’s efforts to keep this information secret. They have dragged out this process for 15 months, while Parliament has been legislating for their NHS plans. It’s near the end of the eleventh hour for the NHS bill and Parliament rightly expects this information before it takes the final irrevocable step to pass the legislation.

“The Government could appeal, and prolong this legal row. But I call on the Prime Minister to accept today’s court verdict and order the Department of Health to publish the risk register immediately.”

Background Notes

John Healey MP gave written and oral evidence to the Information Tribunal this week, as did former Cabinet Secretary Lord O’Donnell and the DH Permanent Secretary Una O’Brien.
Notification from the Information tribunal this morning: “In relation to appeal number EA/2011/0287, the Tribunal dismisses the Department of Heath’s appeal against the Information Commissioner’s decision that the 10 November 2010 Transition Risk Register should be disclosed, except in relation to the name of a junior official which should be redacted. In relation to appeal number EA/2011/0286, the Tribunal allows the Department of Heath’s appeal against the Information Commissioner’s decision that the 28 February 2011 Strategic Risk Register should be disclosed.The appeal time will only start from the date of the Tribunal’s full decision with reasons, which the Tribunal hopes to be able to provide in the near future.”
The Health and Social Care Bill will have its final day of Report stage debate in the House of Lords on Tuesday 13 March and is set for Third Reading on Monday 19 March. Final debate in the House of Commons is expected on Tuesday 20 March, before the bill is sent to the Queen for Royal Assent
John Healey requested release of the risk register for the Government’s NHS reorganisation. A risk register is part of the system Government uses for managing major policies and programmes. It summarises: each potential risk; an assessment of both the impact and likelihood of it occurring; and action being taken to minimise and manage each risk
Key dates in John Healey’s pursuit of this Freedom of Information request, alongside the passage of Health and Social Care Bill follow

Background briefing from John Healey MP >