Andrew George (St Ives, Liberal Democrat)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what risk assessments (a) his Department and (b) independent consultants contracted by his Department have undertaken on the potential effects of the Health and Social Care Bill.
Simon Burns (Minister of State (Health), Health; Chelmsford, Conservative)
The Department published Impact Assessments accompanying the Health and Social Care Bill in January 2011, which were revised in September 2011 ('Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS, Health and Social Care Bill 2011 Impact Assessments'). These included an assessment of risk. It also maintains a register of transition risks associated with the Health and Care reforms that is updated regularly. In addition, in common with other Government Departments, the Department has commissioned a number of Office of Government Commerce Gateway reviews to provide additional assurance external to the Department in specific areas of the reform programme. More reviews are planned for the new year.