§ Dr. Roger Thomas
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement on the latest position regarding the pay of laboratory technicians, specifying why he believes that they have abused their emergency payment claims.
§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
I refer the hon. Member to my hon. Friend's reply to my hon. Friend, the Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. McCrindle) on 5 March.—[Vol. 980, c.244.] Last year's Whitley Council negotiations on emergency duty payments for medical laboratory scientific officers were carried on 598W against the background of deficiencies in the administrative arrangements to control payments which led to some abuse. When audit revealed these deficiencies, health authorities tightened their procedures, and the need to improve the Whitley Council agreement in this respect was recognised. The staff side has since claimed higher rates of payment; so far it has refused to co-operate with the management side in the broader review of the arrangements which the management side is undertaking for this and other reasons.