The Haemophilia Society today welcomes a call from the leaders of the main UK political parties in Westminster for full compensation to be paid to those infected and affected by the contaminated blood scandal without further delay.
Political pressure has been growing on the Government to urgently address the financial hardship faced by thousands of people infected and affected as a result of this scandal. The delivery of full compensation is a complex issue, but in principle The Society agrees that, after more than 40 years of denial, the Government must act.
The Infected Blood Inquiry has already heard from many people infected and affected by the contaminated blood scandal. To date, there has been widespread criticism from witnesses about the financial support they have received. With hearings resuming in Belfast on Tuesday, the Government is likely to face more criticism that it has left the victims of this scandal struggling to keep their heads above water due to inadequate financial support.
No one infected or affected by the contaminated blood scandal in the UK has received any government compensation. Compensation must not be confused with financial support, which is currently administered through the Infected Blood Support Schemes across the UK.
The Society believes than an urgent priority must be to overhaul the Infected Blood Support Schemes which are failing those they are intended to help. Along with 11 other campaigners and campaign groups, The Society has urged Prime Minister Theresa May to address the scheme’s huge regional disparities, scrap its humiliating means testing and put an end to the exclusion of certain affected people such as bereaved parents, children and carers.
We cannot go on like this. We thank the Westminster party leaders for their support in highlighting that the Government has the power to change this situation. We urge Mrs May and her Government to do the right thing and do it now. Full compensation cannot wait until the end of this public inquiry.