Campaigners seek infected blood support clarity

Government asked to improve support payment scheme by Haemophilia Scotland and Scottish Infected Blood Forum

Thursday 9th May 2019

Campaigners are asking the Scottish Government for clarity about the future shape of a compensation scheme that makes payments to people who contracted HIV or Hepatitis C from infected blood products used historically in the NHS.

The Scottish Infected Blood Support Scheme was set up in 2017 to take on the payments, which are set at different levels for each condition and were previously delivered by a range of different charities.

The Scottish fund is ‘already the superior package of support in the UK thus far’, according to the two charities, who thank the Scottish Government for its commitment to improve it further.

Parallel initiatives operate in Wales, Northern Ireland and England, where an inquiry into the scandal that saw nearly 5,000 people infected with contaminated blood transfusions in the 1970s and 1980s began recently. 

In Scotland, an investigation has been underway since last year.

This week, charities Haemophilia Scotland and the Scottish Infected Blood Forum wrote to the Public Health Minister, Joe FitzPatrick, with suggestions on how the support payment system can be improved.

They want payments to be uprated with inflation and an enhanced assessment process so individuals’ symptoms are reflected accurately, as well as additional financial support for family members with caring responsibilities.

The support groups go on to ask that the payment scheme be recognised in law, which would give those relying on it ‘additional security’.