HC Deb 10 November 1927 vol 210 cc330-1

asked the Minister of Pensions whether it is now the practice to refuse treatment allowances to men, suffering from tuberculosis and unable to work, who are under treatment by their panel doctor; and what is the estimated saving that may result from the withdrawal of treatment allowances in these cases?


asked the Minister of Pensions if his attention has been drawn to the concern among disabled men suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis at the reduction of pension and the withdrawal of treatment allowances; and whether an instruction has been issued to the medical officers that men in receipt of 100 per cent. pension in respect of tuberculosis are to be taken off treatment allowances and put on their flat-rate pension?


No general instruction has been issued that men suffering from tuberculosis in consequence of their War service are to have their treatment allowances withdrawn. Indeed, I find that some 1,600 cases were admitted to such allowances in consequence of treatment during the quarter ended in September last. The provisions of the Royal Warrant make it a condition of the grant of these allowances that the patient is rendered unable to provide for himself in consequence of the treatment which is ordered for him. It is, therefore, the necessary duty of my Department to review from time to time all cases in which allowances are being paid, in order to see that the Warrant conditions are fulfilled. The terms of the Warrant apply to tuberculosis as well as to all other disabilities, but in the case of tuberculosis the circumstances of each individual patient are considered in consultation with the responsible medical officer of the local authority. So far from there being any attempt to reduce pensions in these cases, special arrangements have been made to ensure that any man whose treatment allowances are discontinued under the terms of the Warrant is examined in regard to his rate of assessment for pension purposes, and any increase appropriate to his case is granted. These arrangements have, in fact, resulted in a substantial increase in the average rate of pension for this disability.


With regard to Question No. 4, is my right hon. Friend aware that considerable difficulties exist in regard to this matter at Ilford, in connection with the London County Council?


It is the case that there are exceptional difficulties in the Ilford district. My hon. Friend the Member for Ilford (Sir F. Wise) is ill, but has written to me, and I have had the advantage of a visit from my hon. Friend the Member for Romford (Mr. Rhys), who has put to me very clearly and fully the difficulties at Ilford. I am going into them, and am much obliged to my hon. Friend for his help.