§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he is satisfied with the speed at which appeals under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act are being heard; if he will increase the number of tribunals in order to reduce the strain on the families involved; and if he will make a statement;
(2) how many medical tribunals are hearing appeals under the Vaccine Damage Payments Act; what is the situation 445W of each; how many hours a week each sits; how many appeals are pending at each tribunal; when he expects each to clear the backlog; and if he will make a statement.
§ Sir George Young
I recognise that the time taken over reviews is causing anxiety to parents, but I am afraid that the speed at which cases can be handled is limited by the need for specialist medical representation. While I hope that cases will be
Tribunal Number of cases determined Number of cases still to be determined Frequency of sittings* London … … … 108 347 2 sessions per week Manchester … … … 53 135 2 sessions per week Cardiff … … … 39 117 1 session per fortnight Edinburgh … … … 33 83 1 session per fortnight Leeds … … … 35 91 3 sessions per month Nottingham … … … 36 129 3 sessions per month Belfast … … … 12 31 1 session per fortnight * The length of time for a session varies but it is generally of about 2½ hours. In addition, tribunal members will spend appreciable time studying the papers.
§ Mr. Carter-Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will introduce legislation to extend the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 to cover all degrees of disablement resulting from vaccination and to pay weekly compensation at the same rate as for disablement pension under the industrial injuries scheme;
(2) if he will introduce legislation to amend section 3(5) of the Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979 in order to give an applicant the benefit of any doubt as to whether the disablement resulted from vaccination.