MP ‘scared’ of health reforms

EASINGTON MP Grahame Morris has slammed the Government’s refusal to publish controversial documents relating to alleged risks planned reforms could have on the NHS.

Labour MP Mr Morris spoke out less than a week before the bill is due to face its last hurdle in the House of Lords.

Health Select Committee member Mr Morris appeared in the Hartlepool Mail last month accusing the Government of the “biggest cover-up in a generation” after Health Secretary Andrew Lansley withheld the publication of the papers, called the transitional risk register, despite a ruling from an appeals tribunal.

He said: “No sensible person would drive a car in the dark without lights down an unfamiliar and dangerous road, yet this is precisely what the Government are doing by refusing to publish the Risk Register.

“It terrifies me that this bill, which I have studied intently during its 40 committee sittings, is going to become law.

“It is introducing a new health system, a system that no-one voted for and which will be unrecognisable in comparison with the NHS that cared for an entire population from the cradle to the grave.”

Mr Morris and other Labour MPs suggested that the Government is dragging its feet on the register to ensure the bill goes through before its full implications are clear.

The Department of Health previously said the publication of the papers would risk seriously damaging the quality of advice given to ministers and any subsequent decision-making.