HC Deb 24 October 1950 vol 478 cc2695-6
41. Mr. Shepherd

asked the Minister of National Insurance the total number of persons employed upon sick visiting duties; the percentage of persons drawing sickness benefit who are visited; and the extent to which abuse of the benefits has been detected.

The Minister of National Insurance (Dr. Edith Summerskill)

It is not practicable to give a precise figure of the staff engaged on sick visiting, as this work is generally combined with other duties. During three recent months, 245,000 sickness visits were paid, but this cannot properly be expressed as a percentage of people on benefit, in view of the varying periods for which benefit is drawn. As regards the last part of the Question, while sick visiting plays an important part in the general supervision of benefit claims, it is also largely directed to the interests of sick people themselves. The results of visiting cannot be assessed statistically.

Mr. Shepherd

Can the right hon. Lady tell us what relationship the existing visiting bears to the visiting carried on by the societies before?

Dr. Summerskill

No, Sir.