Infected blood victims in Scotland to get £20m more support
The Scottish Government has accepted the financial recommendations of a review into compensation for those affected by NHS blood and blood products.
This will lead to an extra £20m being awarded to victims over the next three years.
Thousands of people became infected with HIV and hepatitis C after treatment in hospitals and clinics across the world during the 1970s and 1980s, including across the NHS in the UK.
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A new Scottish scheme will be established for people who became infected in Scotland, and their dependents. Current support packages for those affected by infected blood are delivered through UK-wide schemes.
Annual payments for those with HIV and advanced hepatitis C will be increased from £15,000 a year to £27,000 a year, to reflect average earnings, while payments to those who have both will rise from £30,000 to £37,000 to reflect additional health needs.
A new pension element for widows and widowers will be introduced, so that when a recipient dies, their spouse or civil partner will continue to receive 75 per cent of their annual payment.
Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “Infected blood is one of the most terrible chapters in the history of our NHS.
“Those affected have suffered dreadful impacts on their health, life expectancy and quality of life, including financial losses. It is quite right that they and their families are given adequate support to help them cope with consequences for which they are entirely blameless.”
Chair of Haemophilia Scotland Bill Wright described the announcement as a “watershed moment” for campaigners.
“No scheme can truly make up for the loss of life, and health, caused by this disaster. The Cabinet Secretary has acknowledged that there is more to be done once these schemes move to Scotland. However, today, we have made historic progress.
“This new, Scottish, approach stands in stark contrast to the deeply concerning proposals currently being consulted on south of the border,” he said.