Government refuses to publish “damning” risk assessment of controversial Health and Social Care Bill


UNISON is calling on the government to come clean and publish the risk register – a document said to raise huge concerns about the risk the Health and Social Care Bill poses to the NHS, ahead of the Frankenstein bill’s return to the House of Lords today.

Despite completing the risk assessment last year, the government is refusing the information commissioner’s request to publish it. Reports suggest the register exposes the huge risk of costs spiralling under the bill, making the NHS unaffordable as private companies cream off huge profits – concerns echoed by the cross party Health Select Committee in January. It is also said to cast doubt on the ability and willingness of GPs to take control of the majority of the NHS budget.

The union is urging the government to put patients first and drop the Frankenstein bill that it, and health organisations and professional bodies representing millions of health workers, believe is the wrong prescription for the health service.

UNISON head of health Christina McAnea said: “The government needs to be upfront and honest.  It must publish the risk register. It is said to contain damning revelations about the Bill – exposing the risk of costs spiralling out of control, rendering the NHS unaffordable, as private companies siphon off profits. GPs are also said to be neither ready nor willing to take on the lion’s share of the health budget.

“Organisations representing millions of health workers have come out against this Bill. They know it is a waste of money, a dangerous experiment, and the many amendments to it don’t change that. We want to protect this national treasure and make sure that patients always come first – so again I urge the government to drop this damaging Bill.”

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