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Occupational Health

Volume 489: debated on Friday 20 March 2009

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if the Commission will assess the adequacy of provision of occupational health and welfare services in the House for (a) hon. Members and their staff and (b) civil servants who work on the Parliamentary Estate. (264699)

The Safety, Health and Wellbeing Service provides a comprehensive occupational health service to hon. Members, Peers, and staff employed by both Houses. Hon. Members are entitled to regular health screening on request and can also self-refer for a consultation with the occupational health adviser or physician, if they believe that their work is having a detrimental effect on their health. There is also an emergency GP service available locally to Members. Given that the House is not the employer of Members' staff, it does not routinely provide occupational health services to them. The Parliamentary Welfare Service is aimed at staff of both Houses and does not formally provide welfare services for Members or their staff; but Members and their staff can ask for informal advice and guidance on the best way to deal with issues of concern. There is no provision for occupational health and welfare services for any civil servants who work on the Parliamentary Estate, as they have adequate access via their own employer.