§ Mr. K. Robinson
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance the number of prescription charges refunded by the National Assistance Board, and the sums involved, for each month of this year for which figures are available, distinguishing if possible between refunds to those in regular receipt of National Assistance and others.
§ Miss Hornsby-Smith
The total amounts of National Assistance in respect of charges for prescriptions under 167W the National Health Service which have been paid this year up to the month of April are:
£ January … … … 100,000 February … … … 96,000 March … … … 213,000 April … … … 177,000
It is not possible to say for all these figures how many prescribed items the amount represents. A single refund is commonly claimed for charges paid over a period, and consequently the March figure, and probably the April figure to a less extent, includes some refunds of charges at the former rate of 1s. per item as well as charges at the current rate of 2s. Detailed information about this is not available. Firm figures as regards refunds to persons not receiving a regular weekly allowance are at present available only for those of them who are not provided for under special arrangements for residents in old people's homes and the like. These are:
— Number of grants Total amount granted £ 7 weeks to 31st January 3,915 1,139 4 weeks to 28th February 2,930 833 4 weeks to 28th March 6,138 2,114 4 weeks to 25th April 11,221 3,838 5 weeks to 30th May 19,588 6,921