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Burnham For Mayor

Monday, 9 March 2015

Letter to Jeremy Hunt on the Rose report

Dear Jeremy,


Last month, you presented the report on whistleblowers by Sir Robert Francis to the House and claimed the Government's actions in the last twelve months had led to a "transparency revolution". You committed to further work to "hard-wire transparency into the health and care system".

As you will recall, I welcomed this commitment and offered our support in achieving it. But I hope you will also appreciate that, if your statements are to have any credibility, it is essential that you and your Department are seen by the rest of the NHS to lead by example.

I am concerned that the Department's handling of the report on NHS management and leadership by Lord Rose fails the very clear test that you have set for the NHS and therefore undermines it.

The official reason for the delay in publication given by your Department was the need to reconsider its remit in the light of the Five-year Forward View. I find this statement both puzzling and implausible. The Forward View was published on 23 October; the Rose Report was submitted to the Department on 23 December 2014. This means there was plenty of time for the conclusions of the former to influence the latter. I cannot see how you can credibly use this as a reason not to publish the Rose Report.

Concern about this matter is shared across the House. Today, the Chair of the Health Select Committee has said that it would not be acceptable for a report paid for with public funds to be withheld from publication before the General Election. It is crucial that voters have the fullest possible insight into Coalition Government health policy before Parliament is dissolved.

My purpose in writing is to call on you to make immediate arrangements for the publication of the Rose Report in the form submitted to your Department late last year. Failure to do so will leave your statements on transparency at risk of being undermined by your actions.

Yours sincerely,