HC Deb 11 May 1971 vol 817 c70W
52. Mrs. Kellett

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the results to date of his take-up campaign to persuade those entitled to claim free milk, prescriptions, etc., to do so.

Sir K. Joseph

The campaign has made an encouraging start though it is too early yet to say how successful it will be.

Following are the figures:

Claims for free milk and welfare foods which averaged 32 a week before 1st April total 26,350 during the week ended 27th April and claims during the month up to 27th April totalled 45,697.

Claims for repayment of prescription charges which averaged 346 a week before beginning of April, amounted to 18,193 during the month.

Claims for help with dental and optical charges have respectively increased fivefold and six-fold.

With so many claims there is naturally a time-lag before awards are made, but the cumulative awards during April were:

Milk and welfare foods 14,494
Prescriptions 6,140
Dental 2,599
Optical 4,481

It is too early to estimate accurately the proportions of claims which are invalid.