HC Deb 11 June 1976 vol 912 cc797-9W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what degree of risk there is of hepatitis for those engaged in transplantation and dialysis;

(2) how many of those engaged in transplantation and dialysis have contracted hepatitis over the past decade;

Number of staff in survey Cases of Hepatitis Attach rate per 100 Staff
Year Clinical* Sub-Clinical†
1968 820 3 1 0.5
1969 903 10 2 1.3
1970 1,421 17 4 1.5
1971 1,456 11 1 0.8
1972 1,372 6 1 0.4
1973 1,355 1 1 0.1
1974 1,350 (approx) 0 0 0
1975 1,350 (approx) 0 0 0
* Clinical hepatitis: An illness with jaundice or serum bilirubin above the normal maximum and/or enlarged liver not attributed to any cause other than viral hepatitis.
Sub-clinical hepatitis: Abnormal results of transaminase tests, not attributed to non-infective causes, and/or Australia antigen detected in serum. Symptoms such as anorexia, malaise, abdominal pain, etc. may or may not be present.

Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the formula for providing compensation/industrial benefit for those who get hepatitis while engaged on transplantation and dialysis.

Mr. Orme

The social security industrial injuries scheme provides injury or disablement benefit for employees who become ill as a result of contracting viral hepatitis either as a prescribed industrial disease or because of an industrial accident. The award of benefits is made in (3) what arrangements have been made to safeguard the health of those engaged in transplantation and dialysis.

Dr. Owen

The Advisory Group on Hepatitis and the Treatment of Chronic Renal Failure, under the chairmanship of the late Lord Rosenheim, which reported in 1972, recognised that there are special risks of infection in regular dialysis and renal transplant units, but pointed out that appropriate measures to control these hazards differ in no essential respect from those in general use. The report of the advisory group, which contained a code of practice for regular dialysis and renal transplantation units and a code of laboratory practice, was commended to hospital and local health authorities in 1972 and I understand that its recommendations are closely followed.

Following is a table, prepared by the Public Health Laboratory Service, showing the incidence of hepatitis amongst renal dialysis unit staff since 1968, from which it can be seen that there has been a welcome and marked reduction since the issue of the report of the advisory group.

accordance with the relevant provisions of the Social Security Act and regulations. In addition, any person whose earning ability is reduced as a result of contracting a disease to which he is exposed as a result of his employment in the National Health Service can claim compensation under the National Health Service (Injury Benefits) Regulations.

Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how the compensation/industrial benefit obtained by those suffering from hepatitis obtained while engaged in transplantation and dialysis compares with that obtained from prescribed industrial diseases in the urology field in the gas and rubber industries.

Mr. Orme

The benefits of the industrial injuries scheme are available to all employees, including those in the gas and rubber industries and in the National Health Service. The benefits are available in respect of all prescribed industrial diseases and for industrial accidents. In addition, National Health Service employees are also covered under the National Health Service injury benefits scheme.

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