With the Penrose Inquiry expected to report later in the year, we commissioned a report into the implementation of the Report of the Expert Group on Financial and Other Support by Lord Ross (The Ross Report 2003).
Ten years after the Ross Report was published there has been some progress in key areas;
- The Skipton Fund was introduced and provides much needed financial support but at lower levels than Lord Ross recommended.
- NHS Health Improvement Scotland was established in 2010.
- Voluntary Sector Organisations can apply for funding to provide specific counselling services for those affected.
However, ours analysis shows the work of implementing the Ross panel’s recommendations is far from complete.
Although the current administration has delivered real action of contaminated blood; establishing the Penrose Inquiry and pledging a meaningful response to it, the hard truth is that ten years on victims are still waiting for action in vital areas.
There has been little progress on access to insurance meaning many of those affected worry about being able to provide for their families after they die. Support payments from the Skipton Fund are still not at the levels recommended and are still not being paid directly. Even more concerning ongoing support payments are not passing to bereaved families when someone who was infected dies. We are also supporting calls from people who were infected through a blood transfusion for a more exhaustive look – back at this transmission route.
The Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament have a good track record of listening to the victims of this disaster. They have heard petitions, investigated with committees, set up expert panels and even established a full Public Inquiry. We hope that by highlighting the lack of progress that was made in implementing the 10 year old Ross Report we can focus the minds of MSPs from all parties on the need for a substantial response to the Penrose Inquiry when it reports. It is high time that this long running campaign was brought to an end with a package of measures which fully supports the infected and their families.”