Mr Roger Evans provided oral evidence to the Inquiry across two days of hearings. Mr Evans was a Trustee of the Macfarlane Trust (MFT) from 2007 until 2012 and was Chair from 2012 until 2016. He was also a Board Member of the Caxton Foundation from 2011 until 2012 which was during the inception of the Foundation. Mr Evans’ has extensive experience with working with the NHS and has held numerous and various roles within the NHS. Despite this when he joined MFT he knew very little knowledge of the experiences of those infected with contaminated blood but believed his experience in the NHS meant that he could help even in a small way.
Mr Evans discussed several topics put to him by Jenni Richards QC over the course of his two days of evidence and these included:
- The roles of Mr Evans both in the MFT and Caxton Foundation and how these roles lead to extensive dealings with the Department of Health (DoH). He spoke of how he tried hard to get the DoH to increase funding but did this in a private and quiet way and did try to negotiate with the DoH but not in a public way. He spoke of how his approach to negotiating with the DoH did work to some extent as their funding stayed consistent even during the period of austerity in the early 2010’s.
- Mr Evans was questioned about why the MFT didn’t participate in fundraising or campaigning. He explained that he didn’t think it was the place of the MFT to lead either fundraising or campaigning. He spoke of how the MFT would have been happy to assist the Haemophilia Society with campaigning but thought it was their role to lead any campaigning or fundraising.
- Ms Richards questioned Mr Evans extensively regarding the MFT Reserves and how these were invested and why the MFT had to consult the DoH regarding the use of the Reserves.
- There was also a focus on the questioning relating to what was described as the Mr Mishcon and Ms Boyd letter. This letter was sent to Secretary of State for Health. The letter was to express concern over the annual allocation of funds being reduced for the Macfarlane Trust. The authors of the letter wanted all the Trustees to sign the letter but several Trustees including Mr Evans refused to sign it in part due to the statement that the whole of the Board of Trustees would resign. Me Evans also felt that as Mr Mishcon brought the draft of the letter to the attention of the Board of Trustees during the ‘Any Other Business’ section of the meeting he wasn’t given time to review the draft letter prior to the meeting and was unprepared.
- Ms Richards also questioned Mr Evans about his role in the issue between Jan Barlow and Liz Carroll and what Liz Carroll accused Jan Barlow of saying during a meeting. Mr Evans vehemently denied that Jan Barlow or even himself ever said what they were accused of and that is why the MFT pushed so hard against the Haemophilia Society and Liz Carroll and started legal proceedings in order to obtain a retraction and an apology.
- Mr Evans agreed that the MFT from the outset was not fit for purpose and it was not the way that the Government should have been administering funds. His view was that funds should have been administered by the Government directly and not a charity as the MFT were.
For a full transcript of Roger Evans’ evidence please visit https://www.infectedbloodinquiry.org.uk/evidence where you can read the transcript or watch the evidence via YouTube video.