asked Her Majesty's Government:
What action they are taking to respond to the findings of the Lofthouse report into the British Coal respiratory disease litigation, British Coal vibration white finger litigation and British Coal industrial deafness litigation. [HL3841]
On 23 May 2007, the Minister of State for Science and Innovation announced that he will send a joint letter with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the Minister responsible for legal services at the Ministry of Justice, to all solicitors involved in the coal health compensation schemes urging them to repay any outstanding deductions taken from compensation awards. We are also working with the Legal Complaints Services (LCS) and the Legal Services Ombudsman to help continue to bring the issue to the attention of claimants. The department is also working with the LCS on a pilot exercise in Rother Valley to raise awareness of the issue and the role of LCS. The May edition of the department's Compensation for Miners newsletter features the role of the LCS, and an inserted poster with its contact details. Some 45,000 copies of the newsletter were printed and distributed to GPs, citizens advice bureaux and coalfield MPs. The newsletter is also available on the website at: www.dti.gov.uk/energy/coal-health/publications/miners-news/page17069.html.