HC Deb 16 January 1978 vol 942 c99W
Mr. Farr

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has now been able to change the arrangements already made for the destruction or withdrawal of Form MAT B1, in order to save the expenditure of public funds, in the manner already suggested to him by letter.

Mr. Orme

Form MAT B1 is used by doctors and midwives when they give a certificate of expected confinement. A version of the form with a now obsolete definition of the week of confinement was superseded as long ago as 1975. The change in definition can make a difference of one week in working out the time from which maternity benefit can be claimed and the earliest date on which a woman can leave her employment without losing maternity pay under the Employment Protection Act. Comparatively few of the old forms are now likely to exist, and as errors arising from its use can cause great inconvenience to the expectant mother and others I do not feel justified in cancelling the arrangements for destroying any that remain. I do not think it would be practicable, as suggested in the correspondence the hon. Member sent me, to expect doctors and midwives to amend the form before issuing it.