We would like to gather your thoughts and opinions on the current support schemes in the UK.
We, alongside other groups, have been invited to engage with Health Minister Jackie Doyle-Price at the end of January to examine the issues around the current arrangements. We would like to invite you to take a short survey via this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ContaminatedBloodSupportSurvey or you can send us your thoughts directly [email protected]
Summary of Current Support Schemes across the UK
As of the 2018/19 financial year there are four contaminated blood support schemes across the UK, one in each of Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This follows a decision to discontinue funding for the five previous organisations (Skipton, Caxton, Macfarlane, Eileen and MFET) and a series of consultations and working groups in the different parts of the UK.
Non-means-tested annualised payments in 2018/19 vary in line with the table below.
|Infected Beneficiaries||England||Scotland||Wales||Northern Ireland|
|Hepatitis C Stage 1 (Moderately Affected)||£4,519||£6,300||£4,622||£4,500|
|Severely Affected by Hep C/Special Category Mechanism (SCM)||£18,519||£18,900||N/A||N/A|
|Advanced Hepatitis C (Stage 2)||£18,519||£27,000||£18,500||£18,500|
|Co-infected (Stage 1 and HIV)||£22,519||£37,000||£22,500||£22,500|
|Co-infected (SCM and HIV)||£36,519||£37,000||N/A||N/A|
|Co-infected (Stage 2 and HIV)||£36,519||£37,000||£36,500||£36,500|
All the schemes have a discretionary budget that provides income top-up payments to those on low incomes, those suffering temporary hardships or in need of one-off grants. Eligibility varies across the four schemes. Non-financial support such as benefits advice and referrals to counselling is generally available.
Bereaved partners in Scotland receive payments equal to 75% of what their partner was being paid or would have been entitled to. This varies between £4,725 and £27,750 a year depending on the viruses their partner was infected with and the impact the viruses had. In Wales, bereaved partners receive similar 75% payments limited to 3 years. In Northern Ireland and England bereaved payments are the same for all partners but are restricted to those on low incomes and tend to be less than £12,000 a year.
None of the schemes provide any support for people exposed or infected with viruses or contaminated other than Hepatitis C and HIV. Family members, other than bereaved partners and some dependent children are not supported by any of the schemes.