This policy has been retained in order
to protect the charitable funds available
and to ensure that all applications received
are processed in an appropriate sequence.
NMSF AGM 2005|
Following the success of the meetings
hosted by Bedfordshire in 2003 and
Hampshire and Isle of Wight in 2004, the
2005 Annual General meeting (AGM) of
the New Masonic Samaritan Fund (NMSF)
will again be hosted by a Province which
is in Festival to the Fund.
The Provincial Grand Master for
Gloucestershire, RW Bro. Peter A Marsh,
has generously offered to host the 2005
AGM on Tuesday, 15th March at the
Masonic Hall, Venn's Acre, Wotton-under-Edge.
As well as undertaking the formal
business of the AGM, the meeting will
provide an opportunity to learn about the
continuing work of the NMSF as well as the
chance to meet Board members and staff.
Further details, including a copy of the
agenda and voting forms, are available from
the Fund on 020 7404 1550 or via the
website on www.nmsf.org.
A number of recent applications to the
NMSF have highlighted the need to clarify
the policy on retrospective applications.
The stated and well-publicised policy of
the Fund remains that applications received
after treatment has taken place will not be
considered for support.
Having accepted that the rigid
enforcement of this policy might, in
a small number of cases, cause genuine
hardship, the Petitions Committee of the
Fund has been willing to consider cases
where exceptional circumstances have
given rise to their retrospective submission.
However, it now appears that this apparent
relaxation of policy is causing confusion and
resulting in a significant rise in the number
of retrospective applications being received.
Any applicant to the NMSF must first
have an identified medical need for treatment
or surgery that is approved by the NHS.
If the NHS is unable to deliver within an
acceptable timeframe, an application to
the NMSF may be appropriate.
An applicant must first have seen their GP
and have been referred on to a consultant.
This referral should be to an NHS consultant
so that the applicant is fed into the NHS
system without any further delay.
Some applicants, when faced with a long
wait to see their NHS consultant, opt instead
to pay the relatively low cost of a private
consultation in order to speed up the process.
It is, however, essential that GPs are
asked to continue the referral on the NHS
even if the applicant intends to seek a private
consultation. If an application is made to
the Fund, which may take several weeks
to process, and is ultimately unsuccessful,
an applicant who has not been referred via
the NHS will be disadvantaged, as the time
delay will have seen no progression up the
NHS waiting list.
This double approach is important if an
applicant is to safeguard his or her position
on the NHS list.
Having seen a consultant, some applicants
opt to book a date for private medical
treatment before initiating an application
to the NMSF. Whilst understandable, this
approach can over-complicate the issue and
put many people to much unnecessary time
The Fund needs to be aware of any
pre-booked treatment, and the applicant
should give serious thought to postponing
the private treatment until a response has
been received, in writing, from the Fund.
Applications received where a date for
private medical treatment has already
been booked will not be fast-tracked
by staff at the NMSF and may ultimately
Staff at the Fund are ready and willing to
provide advice at any stage of an application.
The sooner this advice is sought, the sooner
a decision can be made as to whether or
not an application is appropriate and, if
so, how to proceed in the best interests
of the applicant.
A `new' wife
When W Bro. David Wells first learnt that
the NMSF might be able to provide support
for his wife's medical condition the sense
of relief took effect immediately.
Suffering with terrible chest and arm
pains, as well as being very short of breath,
his wife Bridget underwent an angiogram,
funded by the NMSF, which revealed that
she had two blocked arteries.
She then underwent an angioplasty,
again funded by the NMSF, in the hope
of restoring her quality of life. What
should have been a 45-minute procedure
turned into a two and a half hour operation
as three arteries were found to be blocked,
one of which gave the medical team
cause for concern.
Following surgery, Bridget is now home
and, for the first time in over two and half
years, is able to virtually run up the stairs,
and with no chest pains.
In writing to thank the NMSF, David
Wells concludes his letter by saying:
I cannot thank you enough for the assistance of
the New Masonic Samaritan Fund, because
I had my doubts that another seven-month wait
on the NHS may have been too late for her. I now
have a `brand new wife' and can't stop singing the
praises of the Samaritan Fund team. Thank you
If you, or someone you know, is in
medical need and, faced with a long wait
for the NHS, cannot afford to fund their
own private treatment, please contact the
Fund on 020 7404 1550.
Full advice on eligibility and the
application process is readily available
via a single phone call. The Fund can
only help if it is aware of the need.
Web site created by Mark Griffin