HC Deb 10 March 1983 vol 38 cc487-8W
Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he is satisfied that his review of the possible effects of radiation on those members of the armed services who participated in the United Kingdom's nuclear test programme can be undertaken effectively without having access to the medical case histories of these persons for the period subsequent to their exposure to radiation.

Mr. Pattie

Yes. The central records accessible to the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys provide sufficient information on the subsequent medical histories of those who participated in the tests to achieve the aim of the survey, which is to discover whether or not the incidence of radiation associated diseases amongst British personnel who participated in the tests has been significantly different from that which would have been experienced had they not been involved in the tests. Examination of individual medical case histories would be of little or no assistance in achieving this aim and would add considerably to the length of time the survey would take.

Mr. Frank Allaun

asked the Secretary of State for Defence if pursuant to his reply of 9 February about the health survey of British nuclear test personnel and referring to accessible records, what is the exact nature of these records and from which Government Departments they will be drawn; and if he is satisfied that these records will provide an accurate record of the illnesses and causes of death amongst these personnel.

Mr. Pattie

The records in question are the National Health Service central register and the various records held by the Ministry of Defence which contain the details on individual test participants required to trace them on this register. The register provides causes of death if applicable and information on patients whose cancer is registered and one of its accepted uses is to provide data for the conduct of statisical health surveys such as that which we are undertaking.