HC Deb 19 July 1923 vol 166 cc2464-6

asked the Minister of Pensions for what reason the Ministry refuses to grant treatment allowances on the certificate of a man's panel doctor that the man is unable to work?


Treatment allowances are payable only when a medical officer of the Ministry is satisfied that the nature of an approved course of treatment is such as to prevent the man from providing for his own support and that of his family. Full consideration is always given to any opinion expressed by the panel doctor on the requirements of any treatment approved.


Is the refusal to grant treatment allowances because the man is not prevented from working by his treatment but because of his illness?


Pensions are based on the extent of the disablement. Treatment allowances are payable when our medical officers of the Ministry decide that the man is unable to work on account of his medical treatment.


Why does not the Ministry inform the man, when refusing his application for treatment allowance, that his proper course is to apply for an increased pension?


The men are perfectly well aware of the circumstances under which they can claim that they have become worse.


If the panel doctor does not agree with the doctor at the Ministry, would an appeal be allowed?


It is quite obvious that as we are responsible to the House for what is done, we must be guided by our own officers.


asked the Minister of Pensions how many men are receiving convalescent treatment and training; whether there is a waiting list; if so, how many men are awaiting admission to these institutions; how many have been on the waiting list more than two months; whether the men receive full treatment allowances pending admission to the institution; whether there is now any delay on the part of the Ministry of Labour in accepting the men for industrial training after they have completed their treatment and training under the Ministry of Pensions; and whether it is proposed to introduce legislation in the Autumn Session to assist the severely disabled men to obtain employment?


There are at present 2,976 men undergoing treatment and training in convalescent centres. There is a waiting list of about 380, of whom 46 have been waiting more than two months. I may say that it is expected to provide for these latter cases within a fortnight. Any course of treatment necessary is provided to these cases pending admission to the centre and allowances are paid under the usual conditions. I understand that there is no avoidable delay in placing in industrial training men who are eligible for it. The last part of the question is for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour to answer.


also asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware of the grave discontent that exists in the County of Durham at the number of pensioners totally unable to follow their employment who are on home treatment without allowances; whether, as there is no institution in the county for the treatment of in-patients other than neurasthenics there has been a reduction in the number of men recommended for in-patient treatment; that consequently more men are put on home treatment; and what conditions are attached to home treatment that would enable a man to be eligible for treatment allowances on the ground that he is unable by reason of the course of treatment to provide for his own support and that of his family?


It is not the practice of my Department to recommend home treatment when in-patient treatment is required, and there has, in fact, been no reduction in the number of recommendations of in-patient treatment for the reason suggested. I would remind the hon. Member that the demand for treatment facilities is now happily declining. The condition on which allowances are granted during a course of home treatment is as stated by the hon. Member in the last part of the question.