Meeting with Norman Lamb the Minister of State for Care Services and the Thalidomide Trust

6TH NOVEMBER 2012 3.15 – 3.45

We met yesterday with Norman Lamb, the Minister of State for Care Services, at the Department of Health (DH). It was a very positive meeting.

The DH is already talking with the Treasury discussing how many years in advance could the government give the Trust monies before a further review needs to take place, and what type of review should be in place, and that it needs to consider that thalidomiders’ health may possibly have deteriorated in the future to a place where more support will be needed by the government than is currently given.
The DH’s aim is to get this resolved by the end of November.

We take this as extremely positive that the Health Grant is continuing, at the same level as before, but we won’t say WE HAVE WON until the ink has dried on the paper.

We then discussed how the announcement could be made. We feel that a verbal announcement in the House of Commons would be preferable, and we asked the Civil Servants to consider giving us more than 12 hours notice. We were informed that the possible maximum is 4 days but only if the member of the house who informs the DH that an announcement is being made is agreeable to do so.

We advised Norman Lamb that we would like to have as many thalidomiders as possible in the gallery on the day of the announcement and that we need time for our community to organise their travel. The feedback from this was that the Minister and the Civil Servants would be delighted for as many of us is possible to hear the announcement. They gave the indication that they will pursue this position as much as they can.

The DH’s aim is to get this resolved by the end of November.

My recommendation to everyone therefore is to check in here at the Trust website daily – this is the forum where we make our announcements and we promise to you that we will get the information here as quickly as is humanly possible.

We have not forgotten the Welsh, the Northern Irish, and the Scottish Assemblies. We hope to meet with them shortly and we will keep you updated.