HC Deb 13 March 1980 vol 980 cc679-80W
Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will set out the rules he applies when he considers prescribed disease No. 25; what level or degree of exposure to radiation must be experienced before he agrees that the claimant is entitled to grant benefit for a prescribed disease, how the level of degree of exposure is determined and by whom; and what rules or other written guidance are applied by the insurance officer, doctors and officials of his Department in determining that the illness qualifies as a prescribed disease.

Mr. Prentice

Diagnosis decisions in respect of prescribed disease No. 25 are given by independent adjudicating authorities. The evidence available to them includes a report from a consultant experienced in the disease. To discover the degree of exposure to radiation, inquiries are made of the claimant's employer. There is no set level of exposure governing the determination of claims.

In arriving at their decisions, the medical adjudicating authorities—medical boards and medical appeal tribunals—use their own expertise and clinical judgment to assess the medical evidence and that relating to the claimant's exposure to radiation and the interval between that exposure and the onset of the illness.

The Department gives neither rules nor guidance to the adjudicating authorities as to the diagnosis of prescribed diseases. Those authorities are completely independent.

The prescription of diseases for industrial injuiry benefit purposes is governed by section 76(2) of the Social Security Act 1975.