The blame game over contaminated blood supplies from USA in the 1980’s trundles on. Thousands of UK citizens developed Hepatitis C and HIV after being given infected blood and blood products. New pressure for a third inquiry was highlighted in a recent BBC Panorama programme and by Andy Burnham.
Charity Sector and Other Involvement
288260 -The Haemophilia Society
Haemophiliacs and all people affected by bleeding disorders are represented, offered support and information by the charity .’ It has a limited income of £645k per annum with smaller incomes at charities in Wales, Scotland and the Irish Haemophilia Societies.
The Skipton Fund
This organisation is akin to a Quango set up as a company ‘to implement and manage the UK-wide ex gratia payments scheme for people infected with the hepatitis C virus (“HCV”) from treatment with NHS blood, blood products or tissue. The Company acts as agent for the Department of Health and the Devolved Administrations.’ Its annual income and expenditure is a significant £12m.
298863 The Macfarlane Trust (MFT)
MFT was set up in 1988 by the British Government to support people with haemophilia who were infected with HIV as a result of contaminated NHS blood products, their spouses, parents and dependents.
MFT currently receives approximately £2.2 million each year from the Department of Health spent on discretionary regular payments to those who were infected and to bereaved relatives. They also make small grants to refer beneficiaries for specialist benefits and money management/debt advice.
1142529 The Caxton Foundation
The Caxton foundation is a discretionary grant making trust with annual income of £2m. It was set up and wholly funded by the Department of Health to provide financial assistance and other benefits to meet any charitable need of individuals who have been infected with hcv through contaminated blood products who have received stage 1 payment from the Skipton fund and their partners, parents, children and dependants.’
1104279 -The Hepatitis C Trust
With annual income of £946k the trust aims for the elimination of Hepatitis C by 2030 preventing new infections, diagnosing the infected and curing more victims. The trust provides information, support and representation for people affected by Hepatitis C and aims to lower the stigma of this disease.
1028027 Eileen Trust
With annual income of less than £100k per year the Eileen trust is a discretionary grant making trust that was set up and is funded by the department of health to alleviate the financial need of those non-haemophiliac individuals infected with HIV through treatment with NHS blood or blood products.
Birchgrove is a support group and platform for views for people who were infected with HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C through blood products in Great Britain.
Victims of infection find it extremely difficult and frustrating and Birchgrove provides a platform to inform politicians, parliament and the public of the myriad of problems faced on an everyday basis.
The Forgotten Few
Is a support group that ‘exists to give Co Infected Haemophiliacs “who were dual infected with HIV and Hepatitis C” representation to Parliament and other public bodies. Since the 1980s the co infected community have been ignored and many silenced due to the huge stigma associated with HIV.
Delays, prevarications and procrastination for over 30 years does no one any credit and leads to suffering, dilution of resources and lack of focus.
The Department of Health obviously feel significant responsibility as evidenced by the funding of several groups and charities. Why hasn’t a full cohesive solution been implemented.
The charities, pressure groups and organisations involved appear to duplicate some efforts and have failed to achieve an equitable solution.