26th/27th September 2002 Seventh Meeting

  • The Minutes and Resolutions of the sixth meeting were agreed.
  • Recent publicity on the administration of the scheme was discussed
  • Sir Robert will meet with the Secretary of State at the end of the financial year, in about April next year, to discuss progress and the scheme generally.
  • Irwin Mitchell should be notified that the Trustees want to have made payments in all outstanding claims by the end of March 2003, which necessitated the submission of properly completed forms and appropriate documentary evidence. It was also noted that claims for psychiatric injury had not yet been received.
  • Documentary evidence of earnings that had been submitted to support claims for dependency was particularly inadequate. If necessary, earnings surveys could be used to assess the boundaries of an individual’s income.
  • John Melville-Williams QC and Elaine Motion were appointed as Deputy Chairman/woman.
  • The Trustees discussed the Department of Health’s agreement to amend the Trust Deed to allow the following payment.
  1. To carers who had provided substantial care but were not cohabiting with the victim, and therefore could not be compensated under the existing scheme.
  2. To compensate hotel accommodation costs incurred as a result of providing care to the victim
  3. To compensate other expenses incurred as a result of caring for the victim or to alleviate the victim’s suffering, subject to a specified limit.
  • It was agreed that on the information provided, it was difficult to identify how the award for gratuitous care should be apportioned between the carers. The Trustees would make an apportionment, subject to the family’s approval.
  • David Body had requested a policy decision on how the Trustees would deal with substantial claims for loss of earnings. It was agreed that this had to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and that the Trustees would not indicate likely decisions for cases that had not yet been submitted to the Trustees as this could raise false expectations.
  • Where there is an estranged spouse or parent who had not been represented in the claim, he or she should be contacted to ascertain whether they are entitled to compensation and wish to make a claim.
  • The general approach to payment of the Basic Sum (£120,000 or £125,000) will be to pay £70,000 into the estate to represent the payment that would be made by a Court in assessing common law damages to reflect the victim’s pain and suffering.
  • As a general rule, 70% of the dependency sum would be paid to the spouse/partner and 30% to the children. The Trustees would, however, consider any representations made by the family concerned to support an alternative apportionment.
  • 19 claims that had previously been before the Trustees were re-considered. 62 new cases were considered.

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