HC Deb 21 April 1920 vol 128 cc414-5W

asked the Minister of Pensions if he is aware that prior to the issue of Circular 204 (Revised) issued from the Ministry of Pensions, 6th February last, a disabled soldier, when placed on home treatment by the medical referee, and certified by such referee to be unable to work on account of his disability, caused or aggravated through war service, automatically became entitled to allowances equal to 100 per cent. disability for the period of his incapacity for work; that according to this Circular 204 (Revised) of 6th February, all cases of home treatment have now to be submitted to the deputy commissioner of medical service of the area for his approval or otherwise; if he will state the reasons for this change, so much to the disabled soldier's disadvantage; and if he can see his way to revert to the practice of the last three years, whereby a man certified as being incapable of doing any work on account of such a disability and recommended for home treatment shall be automatically entitled to benefit without reference to an area deputy commissioner of medical service?


Circular 204 does not involve any modification of the rights of disabled men under the Pensions Warrant. The primary function of the Deputy-Commissioner of Medical Services under that circular is to secure for the men the form of treatment most suitable to their disabilities. Many men have in the past been recommended for home treatment who would have been better treated in one or other of the special institutions of the Ministry, as to which medical referees are of necessity not so well informed as the medical officers of the Department. It is also the function of the Deputy-Commissioner to assist in the protection of public funds by ensuring that treatment allowances are confined to those cases for which they were intended by Article 6 of the Royal Warrant. My right hon. Friend is unable to entertain the suggestion contained in the last paragraph of the question.