HC Deb 02 February 1971 vol 810 cc1437-8
3. Mr. Eadie

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he is satisfied with the present administration of pneumoconiosis medical panels; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Dean

I have no evidence of any general dissatisfaction with the present administration of pneumoconiosis medical panels, but the question of their organisation is one of the matters the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council is considering in its major review of pneumoconiosis.

Mr. Eadie

I thank the hon. Gentleman for that answer and recognise the extent to which he has inherited the present administration, but does he accept that there is gross dissatisfaction at the outcome of these pneumoconiosis panels? Will he undertake to look at the situation with what might be termed compassionate interest?

Mr. Dean

Certainly. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the Council is looking at the problem at the moment, in view of the difficulties to which he has referred. He will also know that there is a central panel which can look at the more difficult cases. My information is that this arrangement is working satisfactorily.