Don't vote for NHS reform without knowing the risks
The government is trying to push its controversial Health and Social Care Bill through the House of Lords on Monday 19th March. This could be the final Parliamentary chance to affect the outcome of this dangerous Bill, which threatens to break up and sell off parts of our health service.
It’s even more worrying that the Government is trying to get the ink on the paper before anyone finds out what’s in the Bill’s Risk Register – the internal government document that sets out the risks from any new set of reforms.
Campaigners have been trying to get this document made public for a long time. The Government, having been ordered to release it by the Information Commissioner in response to a freedom of information request, appealed against this decision and lost the appeal. But they still haven't released the Risk Register.
Risk Registers are not normally released to the public, but the tribunal took this unusual step as they felt the particular risks in the document were of a nature that made this case different from earlier instances. We need to know what’s in that document before parliamentarians take the final votes on whether the Bill is made law.
Crossbench Peer Lord Owen is concerned that this means Peers are being made to make a critical decision, without the information they need from the Government. He has submitted an amendment to the Bill, which will be one of the last debated before the final vote in the Lords.
The amendment asks for a delay in the process for Peers to scrutinise the information in the Risk Register before the Bill gets its final Lords vote – the last step before it could go on to receive Royal Assent and become law. You can read the text of the amendment itself on Lord Owen’s site.
Adopt a Peer
Please help Lord Owen to garner support for this important amendment by writing to a member of the House of Lords, asking them to lend their support.
Peers aren't as used to individual lobbying as MPs, so receiving personal contacts from members of the public should really get their attention. Of course, one of the reasons they don't get much contact is that they don't have a direct group of constituents like MPs.
We can help get around this, using this tool to 'adopt' a Peer. We'll match you at random to a member of the House of Lords and help you to contact them, either directly with a posted letter, or by email.
To get started, add your email address here:
(We'll use your email to update you on this campaign and related actions)