§ Mr. Beith
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what recent increases have been made in the fees payable to doctors by his Department for examinations in connection with attendance allowance and mobility allowance; and whether these increases fall within the 6 per cent, recommended limit on public sector pay increases.
§ Dr. Vaughan
The fees payable to doctors, mainly general practitioners, undertaking examinations in connection with claims for attendance allowance and mobility allowance, which are not provided under the National Health Service, were increased with effect from 1 October 1980. This followed the conclusion of negotiations between the Civil Service Department and the British Medical Association which began in 1978, and led to a restructuring of fee scales for part-time medical services for Government departments which related fees more closely to the time involved in carrying out examinations. The current fees for examinations in connection with claims for attendance allowance and mobility allowance are:
For examination and report, taking:
(a) up to and including 1. hours £16 (b) over 1. hours and up to and including 2. hours £24 (c) over 2. hours £38
The fees which they replaced, which were calculated on a different basis, were:
Attendance Allowance: £11.80, plus £6.10 if a supplementary psychiatric report was required
Mobility Allowance: £13.5037W
In both cases, a fee of £29.60 was payable if the time involved in the examination exceeded 2½ hours.
The figure of 6 per cent, is the increase in the pay element on cash limits for the year from 1 April 1981 and will be relevant in negotiating the fees for that year.