HC Deb 07 December 1926 vol 200 cc1906-7
65 and 60. Mr. MacNeill WEIR

asked the Minister of Pensions (1) how many cases of final award have been reviewed under the error procedure arrangements; in how many of these cases has the Medical Board agreed that serious error existed and recommended an increased assessment accordingly; and in how many such cases has the finding of the Medical Board been disallowed;

(2) what is the character and composition of the authority which reviews the findings of the Medical Board under the error procedure arrangements; and what are the names of the members of whom it is composed?

Lieut.-Colonel STANLEY

No complete record is available containing all the information desired by the hon. Member; but I may say that in the great majority of the cases reviewed the Ministry are able to concur in the recommendations of their local medical officers, though I am unable to state the exact proportions. I would point out with regard to both questions that the issue in these cases is not merely one of opinion as to assessment, but the question whether, exceptionally, a case which has received a final statutory settlement should be again considered, and a further grant made. On this point, while local medical officers may properly advise as to the medical condition of the case, the decision must rest with the Minister on the advice of his most experienced medical and other advisers. There is no board or similar authority at headquarters which has the duty of reviewing these cases.

Brigadier-General CHARTER'S

Can the hon. and gallant Member say whether in cases in which the reviewing authority at headquarters disagree with the recommendations of the local board, that reference is made or will be made before a final decision is arrived at?

Lieut.-Colonel STANLEY

Speaking from memory, I think reference is frequently made.