HC Deb 26 June 1979 vol 969 cc163-4W
Mr. Stanbrook

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the delay in the hearing of appeals under the vaccine damage payments scheme.

Sir George Young

Work on the vaccine damage payments scheme is going ahead as rapidly as possible. Although a great many claims were processed before Royal Assent was given to the Vaccine Damage Payments Act, formal action on those claims which could not be accepted could not be taken until after the Act had been passed and the necessary regulations had been made. As soon as possible after this, formal notices of determination were issued and claimants informed of their right to ask for review by a tribunal.

Following formal requests for review, the vaccine damage payments unit has been preparing the cases concerned for reference to tribunals. This is a big task, since most claims involve a substantial volume of medical evidence. The first of the claimants concerned will shortly be receiving copies of the documentation to be put to the tribunals and, as soon as possible thereafter, arrangements will be made for tribunals to consider the cases.

However, as over 400 claimants have already indicated their wish for their cases to be reviewed, some considerable time is bound to elapse before all the cases have been determined.