English #ContaminatedBlood consultation closes tomorrow

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There are 25 individuals and families in Scotland affected by the contaminated blood disaster where the infection took place outside Scotland, mainly in England. For that reason, Haemophilia Scotland has engaged with the consultation launched by the Department of Health.  The financial support received by those 25 individuals and families will be determined by UK, not Scottish, Ministers. Some campaigners south of the border are boycotting the consultation because of the way it has been conducted and the way some questions have been phrased. However, we felt that, on balance, it was important to advocate for the interests of those in Scotland who are affected.  Therefore, we have made a submission to the English consultation and remind anyone thinking of doing the same that they have until midnight on 15 April 2016 to send in there response.

There are four ways to make your submission.

  1. Completing the online form at:
    https://consultations.dh.gov.uk/blood-team/infected-blood
  2. Filling in the questionnaire by downloading it at:
    www.gov.uk/government/consultations
  3. Emailing your responses to:
    infectedbloodreform@dh.gsi.gov.uk
  4. Posting your response to:
    Department of Health (England), Room 104 Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, London, SW1A 2NS.

To influence the consultation, supportive MPs secured a backbench debate in the House of Commons which was held yesterday.  If you missed it you can catch up by,

Many MPs commented that the announcement from the Scottish Government is better funded than the English proposals and suggested that matching them should be a starting point for the discussion.

The big unknown in the English proposals is how much the on-going payments for people in Stage 1, following the individual health assessments, would be.  Until that is clearer it is hard to compare that part of the proposal to the £30,000 lump sum payment, plus discretionary support which will be paid in Scotland.  The unknown in the Scottish plan is how many people who are currently in the Stage 1 category will receive the higher levels of on-going support once the extra-hepatic manifestations (including mental health) are taken into account. These criteria are set to be reviewed by a new group including clinicians and patient representatives.

We are expecting more details on the mechanism and timing of the Scottish payments to be announced after the Scottish Parliament elections, which are being held on May 5th.

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