Payments to contaminated blood victims to rise in Wales

Blood supply Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The Welsh Government wants the improvements to be "affordable and sustainable" within the health budget

Extra financial support for patients living in Wales who have received contaminated blood has been announced by the Welsh Government.

Payments received by victims this financial year will rise to match the support available in England.

The UK government has already made an extra £125m available for victims in England affected by the late 1970s and early '80s "tainted blood scandal".

Thousands developed hepatitis C and HIV after being given infected blood.

In the longer term, the Welsh Government has announced it will seek the views of victims and groups representing them on how best to deliver financial support in Wales.

The charity Haemophilia Wales has previously called for a Wales-specific consultation on how victims and families would be supported.

Extra support for victims in Scotland was announced in March after a similar move in England in January.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said he wanted to end any uncertainty in Wales about the level of financial support.

New annual payments for 2016/17 which were brought in for England include:

  • £3,500 for those with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) stage 1
  • £15,500 for those with HCV stage 2 (currently £14,749).
  • £15,500 for those with HIV in 2016-17 (currently £14,749).
  • £18,500 for those with HIV/HCV stage 1
  • £30,500 for those with HIV/HCV stage 2 (currently £30,000).

Mr Gething said the payments were an interim measure "as a first step to reforming the scheme in Wales".

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