§ Mr. Craigen
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many days at work were lost in the year ended May, 1978 through sickness which may be attributed to rheumatic and arthritic complaints, in the United Kingdom as a whole and in Scotland alone.
§ Mrs. Chalker
Information is available only for days of certified incapacity for work in connection with national insurance claims. These include Saturdays, but exclude days for which no claim has been made because, for instance, the spells were very short or were in respect 497W of married women who had chosen to pay reduced contributions.
In the year ended May 1977—the latest period for which figures are available—the number of such days were as follows:
United Kingdom (including N. Ireland) Scotland (million) (million) Rheumatic complaints 5.3 0.6 Arthritic complaints 19.2 1.8 Total 24.5 2.4
As soon as the figures for the year ending May 1978 are available I shall write to the hon. Member.