The Information Commissioner has finally ruled that Andrew Lansley has broken the law on two occasions in the last year by refusing to issue information properly requested under Freedom of Information Requests.
As the Guardian reports:
The information commissioner, Christopher Graham, has ordered the health secretary to publish the Department of Health's own risk assessment of the potential pitfalls involved in his radical restructuring of the NHS in England.
Lansley's Department of Health had refused to disclose, saying to do so would:
deter from full, candid and proper deliberation of policy formulation and development
That's utterly absurd. As Clare Gerada of the Royal College of General Practitioners (disclosure: my wide is a member) said:
The RCGP, among others, have been concerned for a year about the risks associated with the DH's plans to 'liberate' the NHS; risks such as the increased costs involved, fragmentation of services, and widening of health inequalities — all things that poll after poll has showed that health professionals are worried about. I'm looking forward to seeing what this document says because it could vindicate people like myself who have been speaking out for patients for a year now.
I agree entirely: what Lansley's actually saying is that he wants the law to go through without knowing just how destructive it will be for the NHS. The fact he was so keen to hide the risk - keen enough to break the law twice - is sure indication of how destructive he knows his plans are, and makes me even more worried for the future of healthcare on this country.