Controversial reforms to the NHS appear to be unstoppable (Reuters / Toby Melville)

The Labour Party has failed to block the passage of the coalition's NHS reforms with an emergency debate.

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham called on the government to make a transition risk register public in a move aimed to stop the controversial Health and Social Care Bill from passing into law within days.

In an emergency debate granted by speaker John Bercow, Burnham accused the Conservatives of putting politics before the NHS and showing "defiance of the law" in failing to publish the register, which he claimed would demonstrate the bill's prioritisation of private patients.

Burnham's motion, which stated that the house had "considered" deferring the bill, is one that the party knew it could not win and merely represented a last-ditch protest, as Labour ministers voted against it. They were defeated by the government, with a vote of 328 to 246.

Burnham opened the debate by referencing the Queen's Jubilee celebrations, he said: "On today, of all days we should be celebrating what a valued national institution has done throughout the last 60 years of her majesty's reign. Instead we gather together to dismantle it."

The government was put under pressure to publish the register following a decision by an information tribunal that it was wrong not to do so.

John Angel, principle judge of the tribunal, has yet to publish the reasons for his decision. After that the government may still appeal to the upper tribunal to block publication.

The government argues that the publication of a register would set a dangerous precedent with regard to further publications, reducing the candour and honesty of civil servants,

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "Risk registers are not written for publication. They are written in that safe space in which officials give advice to ministers. They are not a prediction of the future. They set out the worst-case scenario to challenge decision making."

He accused Labour of political opportunism and of insulting the efforts of the House of Lords, which saw hundreds of amendments to the bill over 25 days of debate.

"Labour are not interested in what's in the bill, only in the political opportunity of opposing the bill," he said.

He said that Clinical Commisssioning Groups, headed by GPS, would take over control of £60bn of Department of Health funds by April 1.

Burnham pointed to the criticism of the bill throughout the health service and repeated claims that it would be better to abandon it than continue with reorganisation which is destabilising the service.

He said the debate represented "the end of the battle" but "the beginning of our campaign"

"[The Liberal Democrats] will not only be remembered for tuition fees, but the party that stole votes to secure jobs for themselves and to sell out the NHS. They could have chosen to stop this bill, but they chose not to."

The debate followed two failed attempts made in the House of Lords to stop the bill as it limped to adoption following more than a year of debate.

Lord Owen asked peers to delay the third reading of the bill until they had heard Angel's reason for calling for the register to be published.

His motion was defeated by a government majority of 115 votes. A second motion was made by Lady Thornton, who called on the house to reject the bill in its entirety.

She said that GPs were being set up as "fall guys" and claimed that Clinical Commissioning Groups were realising that the bill was not what they signed up for.

"[The government] acknowledge that nothing they have done has won over those who now have to make this tangled mess work. Nothing has persuaded the professionals or the public."

Her motion gained just 174 votes to the government's 269. She said: "The people know it was the Labour Party who created the NHS; it has been the Labour Party in opposition which has tried so hard to protect it from the worst ravages of this bill.

"We have done our duty and the people will remember that."

There is no doubt that should the bill fail to improve the NHS, Labour will have a significant stick to beat the Conservatives with at the 2015 general election.

A campaign launched by nearly 250 medical professionals will see them contest Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs' seats in protest over the reforms.

Throughout the last month, London's streets have been covered with billboards sponsored by supporters of 38 Degrees, who are protesting against the bill.

The poster shows GP Brigid Sheppard echoing the call made by the British Medical Association, Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Nurses to halt the reforms.

"Dear Mr Cameron, you're making a big mistake with the NHS. Please, please listen to us," the message reads.

Lansley and prime minister David Cameron have maintained their conviction that the reforms are necessary to preserve the future of the NHS.

"To those people who doubt what we are doing I would say, because of the pressure we are facing, we cannot afford not to reform the NHS," he said.