Debbie demands NHS bill findings be disclosed

Date published: 22 February 2012

AN OLDHAM MP is leading the fight to uncover details of how the Government’s controversial health bill will affect the NHS.

Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams has arranged an Opposition Day Debate for today demanding that the Government releases the findings of a country-wide NHS risk-register relating to the affects the Health and Social Care Health Bill could have on the health service.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, having seen and reviewed the register, found there was “a very strong public interest in disclosure of the information, given the significant change to the structure of the health service the Government’s policies on the modernisation will bring” and ruled that the Department of Health should release it.

But the Government is to appeal the Commissioner’s decision.

Mrs Abrahams, the parliamentary private secretary to shadow health secretary Andy Burnham, said: “The Information Commissioner clearly believes that the public and MPs, who are debating on crucial aspects of the bill, should have the full picture of the potential risks the NHS faces if the Government’s changes to the NHS go ahead. My constituents who are aware of this attempt to bury the risk-register are shocked and, in just one day, nearly 100 of them in Oldham East and Saddleworth have contacted me, urging me to support its publication.

“At today’s Opposition Day Debate we will be calling on Mr Cameron to honour his promise to be transparent, listen to the Information Commissioner and release the information contained in the risk-register.

“It’s time to scrap the Health and Social Care Bill before it destroys the NHS as we know it.”

An e-petition to activate a debate in Parliament on the bill has broken through the 150,000 mark and can be signed on epeti itions/22670.

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