HC Deb 28 June 1979 vol 969 cc323-4W
Mr. Alfred Morris

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what action he proposes to take in response to the recommendations of the report of the Pearson Commission; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

Most of the recommendations falling within my departmental responsibilities relate to the industrial injuries scheme; those among them which relate to prescribed diseases have already been referred to the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council for its advice, and the others are being considered in the course of the review of the scheme which was announced on 15 November last and which is continuing.

The second group of recommendations related to benefits for disabled children and for victims of motor vehicle accidents; any improvements that can be made in the help afforded to seriously disabled people—of all ages and regardless of the cause of their disablement—will depend on how soon and to what extent resources can be made available for this purpose.

As regards the proposal for the introduction of strict liability where a volunteer for medical research suffers severe damage, work is proceeding to assess the likely practical effects and we shall need to await the outcome. With regard to vaccine damage, the special scheme introduced under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 is now in full operation.