HC Deb 23 October 1989 vol 158 cc309-10W
Mr. Key

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list, following the health circular HC(88)43 reference to ensuring that full use is made of family planning services as a resource in combating AIDS, those health authorities in England who have(a) allocated separate budgets for this work, (b) initiated staff training programmes and (c) plan to review both written and verbal information given to clients about HIV/AIDS.

Mr. Mellor

We do not collect this information centrally.

Mr. Ashley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) for what purposes the Macfarlane trust has made grants to haemophiliacs suffering from AIDS;

(2) how many haemophiliacs have applied for grants from the Macfarlane trust; how many applications have been successful; and how many were refused because their financial resources were considered to be too high;

(3) how much of the £10 million provided by the Government have been distributed by the Macfarlane trust to haemophiliacs who have developed AIDS; and how much money remains.

Mr. Mellor

[holding answer 19 October 1989]: It is for the trustees to allocate funds in the way which they consider best meets the needs of those eligible for assistance within the terms of the trust deed.

I understand, however, that in the period up to the 31 August 1989 the trust made 1,600 single payments totalling around £0.9 million and 578 regular payments totalling around £1 million. The single grants have been made for a wide variety of purposes covering needs arising from reasons of physical health and mental stress, general living conditions, mobility and travel, accommodation, employment and education. Regular payments help with the extra cost of living with HIV, principally diet and heating. Should the right hon. Member wish to know more detail I suggest he contact the trust administrator.

Mr. Ashley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will request the Macfarlane trust to consider giving grants for legal fees that have arisen solely because haemophiliacs have become infected with the AIDS virus;

(2) what advice or instructions were given to the Macfarlane trust regarding the imposition and level of means test to be applied to haemophiliac victims of AIDS;

(3) what means test is applied by the Macfarlane trust to haemophiliac sufferers of AIDS; and if he will publish the income and capital limits in the Official Report.

Mr. Mellor

[holding answer 19 October 1989]: The Macfarlane Trust is an independent charitable trust. It is a matter for the trustees, and not the Department, to determine within the provisions of the trust deed the criteria for allocating funds. A copy of that deed is in the House Library. I understand that the trust considers it inappropriate to help with legal fees incurred by haemophiliacs with HIV who wish to pursue claims for compensation. Those who consider themselves in need of assistance can apply for legal aid in the normal way.