Welsh Government announces changes in support for contaminated blood victims
The Welsh Government has announced changes in support for individuals who contracted hepatitis C and HIV through NHS treatment with contaminated blood. Under the new scheme, those already receiving regular payments will see an increase in the amount of money they receive, to include an amount towards additional expenses such as increased winter fuels, treatment (travel/overnight accommodation) and insurance (personal/travel).
Wales mirrored English arrangements for support to those affected by contaminated blood on an interim basis in 2016/17 while consulting on a new support scheme. Those identified by the existing UK schemes as Wales beneficiaries will automatically transfer to the new scheme, which will be operational from October 2017. Enhanced regular payments (annual, quarterly or monthly) under the new scheme will be backdated to April 2017.
As well as additional financial support, the new scheme will include a support service for affected individuals, offering help to those having difficulty accessing healthcare services, home or travel insurance, and other financial benefits or suitable public services.
The scheme will also see additional payments to those who have been bereaved. The one-off payment will be retained and, in addition, spouses civil partners or partners will receive 75% of their partner's regular payments for three years after bereavement.
The new scheme will be administered by the Valindre NHS Trust through the NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership.
A table showing how payments for the new scheme compare with payments under the 2016/17 interim arrangements can be seen here.