Invite to Feedback on Support Schemes

Written by Aaron Dennis, December 20, 2019

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 BeneficiariesEnglandScotlandWalesNorthern 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£18,900N/AN/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£37,000N/AN/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.