New Financial Package for Victims of Blood Transfusion Scandal
Posted: 23rd March 2016
Posted in: Medical Negligence
The Scottish Government has pledged £20 million in funding for the victims of the NHS blood transfusion scandal.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, an estimated 30,000 people in the UK were given blood transfusions that were contaminated with conditions such as HIV and Hepatitis C. Many of the people affected were haemophiliac. These conditions have caused lifelong suffering and have had a severe impact on the patient’s ability to work. In many cases, the infected blood transfusions lead to an early death.
The Scottish Government set up the Penrose Enquiry to investigate the scandal. It estimated that 2,500 people in Scotland were given infected blood transfusions. Only 880 recipients have ever been identified and Lord Penrose recommended that more must be done to locate the people who have been affected.
The BBC reported on a man who has only just been diagnosed with Hepatitis C. The man, whose identity was protected, said, “I was unwell, cold, muscles aching and twingeing. Shivery, headaches. I knew there was something wrong.”
After visiting his doctor he found that he has Hepatitis C and stage 2 cirrhosis of the liver. He had been infected by a blood transfusion he received in 1991, but the conditions have only now been uncovered. Unfortunately, there may be many people in the same position who are unaware they have been affected. The longer the conditions go on untreated, the more severe the impact can be.
Following the Penrose Report, the Scottish Government set up the Independent Financial Review Group to consider the financial awards that are made to those affected.
The report recommended that people who have been infected with HIV or advanced Hepatitis C should be awarded £27,000 per year. When a person affected dies, their spouse or civil partner will receive three quarters of the annual award.
Those suffering from chronic Hepatitis C will receive a one off lump sum of £50,000, a £30,000 increase on the previous award.
The increase in the awards have been warmly welcomed by many. A spokesman from Haemophelia Scotland said, “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.“
However, some people feel that the Government has not done enough to locate the people who may have been affected.
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