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Funding boost for HIV patients contaminated through NHS blood

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The government has announced increased funding for people infected by HIV through contaminated NHS blood and blood products.

The Department of Health has promised to increase funding to £12,800 per year for the victims who have HIV but has decided not to give any additional payments to those who received blood infected with hepatitis C.

Thousand of people in the UK - mainly those suffering from haemophilia - were infected during the 1970s and 1980s after using blood products.

The fund for people with hepatitis C, which works through a series of lump sum payments and was set up much more recently, has funding available until 2014, after which it will be reviewed, the government said. However, the DH has said it will give the Haemophilia Society an extra £100,000 per year for the next five years.

Public health minister Dawn Primarolo said: ‘I would like to offer my deepest sympathy to all those who suffered in this tragic episode.

‘Sadly, it was not possible to effectively test for these viruses in the 1970s and early 80s and we deeply regret that these events occurred following NHS treatment.’

An independent inquiry into the scandal, carried out by Lord Archer of Sandwell, was published in February and called for a government-backed payment scheme to replace the ones that are administered by charitable trusts, which victims have complained can be hard to access.

Lord Archer also wanted to see a committee of specialists to act as official advisers to ministers over on-going compensation claims and the treatment of victims. Both proposals have been rejected by the government.

He said the government response was a ‘faltering step that only compounds the anguish of the afflicted and bereaved’.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • This is an absurdly unbalanced report off the facts. The headline should be in line with the dozens of reputable, independent newspaper reports that used headlines like: "Hepatitis victims lose battle for extra cash" and "Victims ‘insulted’ over response to bad blood inquiry"

    There was NO support for Hep C sufferers, the "extra funding" it provided to the Haemophilia Society was simply returning funding that had been cut!

    The Government continue to ignore that they have withheld documents evidence, the longer they drag this out, the fewer victims will still be alive. 2,000 have already died, the other 3,000 rely on the NHS to keep them alive.

    It's time to face up to the 'mistakes' - and give those who continue to suffer some dignity in ill-health!

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