Government loses appeal over NHS reforms dossier

The Government has lost the latest stage of its fight to prevent publication of an internal Civil Service assessment of risks posed by the NHS reforms.

An appeal by the Department of Health against an order by the Information Commissioner to publish the "transition risk register" was thrown out by a tribunal yesterday. Officials argued that disclosing the dossier would inhibit civil servants from speaking their minds to ministers in the future.

The Information Rights Tribunal upheld the commissioner's ruling that the November 2010 document should be disclosed. The original call for the register to be published was made by the former shadow Health Secretary John Healey. In response to the tribunal's decision, he said: "The judgment backs the public's right to know about the risks the Government is taking with its NHS plans."

The Department of Health will await the tribunal's full decision before deciding whether to appeal, but Mr Healey urged ministers to publish the document.