§ 46. Mr. Peyton
asked the Minister of Health why he has refused to allow regional hospital boards and hospital management committees to insure members of their staff when carrying cash.
§ Miss Pitt
It is contrary to Government policy to insure against risks of this kind in the public service. Compensation payments may however be made in appropriate cases in accordance with the National Health Service Superannuation Regulations, or otherwise an ex gratia payment can be made if the circumstances warrant it.
§ Mr. Peyton
Would my hon. Friend look at the matter again, bearing in mind that these people are employees of regional hospital boards and hospital management committees which are anxious, very properly, to protect their employees during the course of their work? Does she not realise that this basis is not satisfactory because, without putting it too strongly, Government Departments are not the speediest or the most generous in the payment of compensation?
§ Miss Pitt
It is the general practice for the Exchequer to carry its own risk. I am not aware of any instance in which a hospital pay clerk has been killed or seriously injured in the course of his 951 duties. If there were such incident, the superannuation provisions or the ex gratia arrangements would apply.
§ Mr. K. Robinson
Is the hon. Lady not aware that there have been violent attacks on the pay staffs of hospital authorities and that there was one in the London area not long ago? Will she ask her right hon. and learned Friend to look again at the matter and not make it impossible for hospital authorities to behave as good and reasonable employers?