Remember the ‘risk register’ for the Health and Social Care Act 2012? It was believed this document showed the Act that introduced widescale privatisation into the NHS was full of danger – mostly financial.
So the Conservative-led Coalition Government refused to make it public.
Now another secret ‘risk register’ is allegedly pointing out more risks to the health service, created by Conservative plans – and again it is being kept secret.
But this time the risk is to more than NHS finances – it is to life and limb.
The health service has too few staff and too little money to deliver the government’s promised “truly seven-day NHS” on time and patients may not notice any difference even if it happens, leaked Department of Health documents reveal.
Confidential internal DH papers drawn up for Jeremy Hunt and other ministers in late July show that senior civil servants trying to deliver what was a totemic Conservative pledge in last year’s general election have uncovered 13 major “risks” to it.
While Hunt has been insisting that the NHS reorganise around seven-day working, the documents show civil servants listing a string of dangers in implementing the plan – as summarised by a secret “risk register” of the controversial proposal that has prompted a bitter industrial dispute with junior doctors.
The biggest danger, the officials said, is “workforce overload” – a lack of available GPs, hospital consultants and other health professionals “meaning the full service cannot be delivered”, they say in documents that have been obtained by the Guardian and Channel 4 News.
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