Contaminated Blood: Widow has still not received years of back payment owed following government Trust “cock-up”

Widow and campaigner Carol Grayson still fighting for back pay pictured with late husband Peter Longstaff who died after receiving contaminated blood products as part of his NHS treatment (Image, Newcastle Chronicle)

Open letter from Carol Grayson to Brian Williams at the Cabinet Office

Dear Brian,

Money owed through the Macfarlane Trust wrongly assessing me for years has still not been paid

I would be most grateful if you could raise the following issue as a matter of urgency with the Cabinet Office.

Earlier this year I received a back payment of several thousand pounds related to my monthly payments as a widow registered with EIBBS (English Infected Blood Support Scheme) as the new scheme had inherited my claim as a registrant of the Macfarlane Trust. The back payment was made due to a serious mistake in means testing the disability part of my ESA Support Rate payment which was WRONG, NOT ALLOWED and should never have happened in the first place. This left me in an extremely vulnerable position and because I was mistakenly paid thousands of pounds less a year than I should have been, I could not afford to make ends meet and ended up having to use a credit card for basic necessities because those assessing me had not assessed me correctly. This caused enormous upset and unnecessary distress.

I was happy that EIBBS listened to my complaint, realized the mistake and that back pay plus interest was sorted out at least back to April 2018 when they took over from the disbanded Macfarlane Trust.

HOWEVER…. the mistake was originally made by the Macfarlane Trust at the time when I was transferred over to ESA around 2011 and over the years I REPEATEDLY wrote to the Trust (and even a Trustee also at one point) stating I believed I was being wrongly assessed (which turned out to be correct) and asking them to look again at my claim but it was never sorted or put right by the Trust.

Fortunately once the Infected Blood Inquiry started I then had a legal team to help me work out what had gone wrong.

EIBBS apologised to me and identified that the mistake occurred long before they took over and paid me back to when they first set up as mentioned in 2018. My lawyer and I now need to know who is liable for paying me back to 2011 with interest now that the Macfarlane Trust no longer exists, shut down by excluding the longest standing campaigners from a key meeting to discuss this move.

Can you clarify very simply to me, who my lawyer and I must approach for this back money (from 2011 to 2018) to be paid. Is it the Terrence Higgins Trust that took over the Macfarlane monies? I am STILL suffering financial losses of thousands of pounds due to the incompetence of certain person(s) who did not do their job properly regarding assessing me. I am prepared to forgive that gross error and not take the matter further PROVIDING the rest of my back money to 2011 is sorted!

I am copying this to the Infected Blood Inquiry who are aware of my long and ongoing struggle for justice in the matter of back pay and of course my legal team.

Thanks for your assistance.

Please confirm receipt of this email and I look forward to your prompt reply.

Kind Regards

Carol Grayson

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad.  She was a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.

About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/experts/Health_and_Wellbeing.aspx Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
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