§ 55. Sir B. Janner
asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if, in view of the continuance of the inclement weather, he will give publicity to the fact that people suffering from minor ailments who find difficulty in visiting their doctor should follow the advice contained in his Department's Pamphlet No. 16, to the effect that they can send a note to their local insurance office explaining that they cannot supply a certificate in three days, giving details of their incapacity and promising to send a certificate within a period of ten days.
§ Mr. N. Macpherson
There are already arrangements for reminding people through the medium of the local Press that if they have difficulty in obtaining medical certificates they may instead send in written notice of their incapacity, provided they do so within three days. These arrangements may be brought into operation as and when abnormal conditions locally so warrant. The arrangements seem to work satisfactorily, but if the hon. Member has any suggestions to make, I shall be glad to consider them.
§ Sir B. Janner
While thanking the Minister for that reply, may I ask whether he is aware that there are a large number of people who are not aware of these provisions and to whom, in consequence of the present inclement weather, considerable hardship results from making a personal visit? Will he give further publicity to this in the local papers?
§ Mr. Macpherson
When the circumstances seem to require it, further publicity is given in the local papers. This is a matter which is left to the local manager at his discretion. As to the more general question, the leaflet dealing with sickness benefit indicates that this is one of the procedures which can be followed. In other words, if it is not possible to send a medical certificate within three days, it is possible to send a note instead.