23 July 2004 Twenty second Meeting

  • The Minutes and Resolutions of the previous meeting were approved, subject to some minor amendments.
  • It was reported that there were 147 victims of vCJD as at 5 July 2004, according to the figures on the Department of Health’s website. Main Applications had been received in relation to 141 victims. By the end of this meeting, the Trustees will have considered 134 cases on the claims submitted to date. The Trustees have considered a total of 189 claims for £5,000 for psychiatric injury.
  • 27.4m had been paid in compensation to date. £5.5m had been paid for costs and expenses.
  • Sir Robert Owen, David Churchill and Malcolm Tibbert reported to the Trustees on the meeting with the Human BSE Foundation on 14 July 2004. A key theme of the meeting was how communication could be improved between the Trustees and families, and the Trustees sought input on this from Janet Gibbs (Chair of the Human BSE Foundation) and the Foundation members. The Trustees were particularly concerned that there was a perception that the Trustees formed part of the Government or were agents for the Government. The Trustees are an independent public body, with sole responsibility for making decisions as to the payment of compensation.
  • The Trustees discussed updating the website at www.vcjdtrust.co.uk
  • The Trustees’ Annual Report and Trustees’ Accounts for year ended 5 April 2004 were considered. These are now available on the Trustees’ website, www.vcjdtrust.co.uk.
  • The Trustees considered an addition to the panel of expert psychiatrists, suggested by Irwin Mitchell.
  • The Trustees noted that clause 5.4 of the Trust Deed, which deals with claims for carers’ loss of earnings, is ambiguous as it is not clear whether claims for carers’ loss of earnings can be made before and/or after the cut off date, i.e. the date of a Care Package or 31 March 2001. The Trustees felt that the appropriate interpretation is that claims for carers’ loss of earnings can be made before and/or after the cut off date.
  • The Trustees considered 1 new claim, 1 claim for part-payment, 4 claims with outstanding issues, and 22 claims by family members of 14 victims for the single sum of £5,000 for psychiatric injury lasting longer than a calendar month that has been caused or materially aggravated by the fact that the victim has contracted vCJD.

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