We thought it would be useful if we just cut to the chase and told things as they are (or certainly how they appear to be!). Below you will read the beneficiaries’ view of things and not the glossy version that the MFT choose to portray to the DoH/ Gov’t and others.
The MFT (MacFarlane Trust)
Set up in 1988 to give support to haemophiliacs who had been infected with HIV via contaminated blood products. This support was also for the families of those infected, including wives or partners who too had become infected with HIV.
There has always been a difference of opinion with regards to the MFT and its methods of financial support to its beneficiaries. A handful of people who have contacted us say that they have been satisfied with the way the Trust has helped them, but that they have had very little to do with the MFT and don’t know anything about how it operates. However, the overwhelming majority have been very quick to say that, over the last few years, things seem to have become “very difficult” for beneficiaries to qualify for help from the MFT. Many said the same thing, in that it almost seemed like they were being “discouraged” from even applying for help and more and more obstacles were being put in the way of getting assistance.
Some reported that they had applied for assistance and been refused while others, it seemed, had received financial help for things that others could not get. There raises the question of consistency. Is there any? According to some beneficiaries, no, there seems not.
Many beneficiaries were under the impression that they could not apply for financial help from the Trust, so tried to struggle on. Some have got themselves deeper into debt, others sold a family home or possessions in order to reduce any and all living costs that they could, just to keep their head above water.
From the feedback beneficiaries have given, it would appear that the MFT has been treating its beneficiaries appallingly. People have come forward with some truly shocking stories of how the MFT has (in their eyes) turned its back on them, or handled an application for help.
Registrants have confirmed a common excuse at the MFT of “lack of funding” being the reason the MFT have refused help to many registrants. When this has been challenged it has been met with arrogance and flippant remarks from the current Chairman and CEO, that extra funds were not available to help beneficiaries so there was no point asking. The Chairman made it quite clear to a room full of beneficiaries that he “was not going to rock the boat with the DoH”, even though himself and the CEO were well aware that the Trust was grossly underfunded. Such remarks were witnessed by a group of beneficiaries who attended PG (Partnership Group) meetings on more than one occasion.
Such meetings left beneficiaries outraged and in no doubt that the MFT was not there to benefit its registrants, but seemed to focus more on saving money for the DoH and Gov’t. Beneficiaries went as far as to refuse to meet further with the Chairman and CEO of the MFT because it was a pointless exercise being in the same room with them.
It has led MPs to declare the MFT “unfit for purpose” and beneficiaries to call for the removal of the current Chairman and CEO of the MFT, with a view to a full inquiry into its failed support mechanisms and, ultimately, complete closure of the Trust.
After more than 25 years of having to live off of charity that simply does not work, it is time we were given the dignity we deserve and given full financial settlement that will give us a life of our own choosing.
This is just a brief overview of the current situation and more information will follow shortly. If you would like to send us any information regarding the MFT, or comment on this article, please use the email provided on the home page.
See our post Call for Inquiry into MFT