The Department of Health learnt a lesson about partnership working last week, when it turned its hand to climate change policy.

Last Wednesday it issued a press release backing the conclusions of a report published in The Lancet, which the DH had part funded.

One of the main findings of the report was that developed countries should cut their livestock by 30 per cent to reduce both greenhouse gases from cow farts and our saturated fat intake. This would encourage healthy alternatives rather than sourcing beef from developing countries already busy hacking down rainforest to make way for cattle farms.

Unfortunately, no one at the DH had consulted the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which suddenly found itself taking flak from angry farmers. As a result, ministerial support for the report quickly vanished like burning mist from a cow meadow.

A helpful link to the report from the DH press release was sadly no longer working by Thursday.