Thank you for contacting me about financial support for people who received contaminated blood. This was an awful tragedy that should never have happened.
In April 2019, the then Prime Minister announced that the Government would increase the financial support for those infected and affected by the infected blood scandal, ahead of the start of the public hearings that year.
Regular annual payments increased from a total of £46 million to £75 million. Recipients, including bereaved spouses and partners, could also be eligible for further financial support through means-tested discretionary top-up payments.
The England Infected Blood Support Scheme supports people historically infected with hepatitis C or HIV from NHS blood or blood products. It also provides help to families, spouses and civil or long-term partners after the death of someone infected.
Following commitments in January 2020 to resolve the disparities in financial support available in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and support bereaved partners, ministers have announced changes to bring the four separate schemes into broader parity.
In England, this means that annual payment for bereaved partners will be increased to 100 per cent of their partner's annual payment in year 1 and 75 per cent in year 2 and subsequent years in accordance with the position in Scotland. The lump sum bereavement payment will become an automatic £10,000 instead of a discretionary £10,000 payment in accordance with the position in Wales. The lump sum payments paid to a beneficiary in the scheme with Hepatitis C Stage 1 will increase to £50,000 and to an automatic £80,500 to a beneficiary in the scheme HIV. The schemes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be similarly adapted.
I will continue to follow the progress of the inquiry closely, but I hope that in the meantime the England Infected Blood Support Scheme is able to provide you with support.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Richard Fuller MP