HC Deb 24 September 1909 vol 11 c906W

asked the President of the Local Government Board if he can state how long an old age pensioner, who is in the workhouse infirmary through illness, must remain an inmate before his illness is considered chronic; and if he will state whether it is the duty of the pension committee or the guardians of the poor to decide whether the illness is chronic, or whether it is the duty of the workhouse doctor to notify both these authorities of the man's condition?


I do not think that any general rule can be laid down as to the period which must elapse before the illness of an old age pensioner, who has become an inmate of a workhouse infirmary, should be considered chronic. The period must depend on the circumstances of the particular case. If a question is raised by the pension officer whether the pensioner has become disqualified for a pension by the receipt of poor relief, it must be determined by the local pension committee, subject to appeal to the Local Government Board. The guardians would have no power to determine the matter. It would be the duty of the workhouse medical officer to give the guardians or the pension officer reasonable information as to the case, if requested to do so, but, subject to this, he is not required to notify the condition of the patient.