We concentrate our advocacy work here in Scotland and are regularly in touch with Scottish politicians and the Scottish Government. However, from time to time we bring you news about what is happening in other parts of the UK.
Over the last few month the MP for North East Bedfordshire in England, Alistair Burt MP, has been conducting an online survey about how those affected by the contaminated blood disaster can best be supported. People in Scotland were given the chance to take part. Although the support arrangements are the are clearly the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government Mr Burt felt that, as the current arrangement cover all of the UK, all views were relevant.
Today (27.11.14) Mr Burt has released a Update letter Nov14 which gives details of his preliminary results.
According to the update the 865 people who completed the survey said that,
- they would prefer a lump sum payment to ongoing support.
- ongoing support for widows and spouses are important,
- the current charitable structure of support should be abolished.
- there should be good access to new treatments.
- people should get the same support, regardless of the severity of infection.
- if there are ongoing payments then they should be life long with a fixed number of payments after death.
There is no information on the number of people in Scotland who took part and we have no way of knowing if people in Scotland share these views. However, the results will no doubt provide food for thought for everyone in Scotland who are considering what an appropriate Scottish response to the disaster might be.
Regular readers of this website will know that there is a lot of Scottish specific work currently going on which we believe will be used by the Scottish Government as it prepares to receive the Final Report of the Penrose Inquiry. In particular The Scottish Infected Blood Forum has conducted a more detailed survey, known as the Scoping Exercise, into the support needs of people in Scotland affected by the contaminated blood disaster. They are expected to present their findings soon. Meanwhile, Richard Lyle MSP is hosting a Scottish Parliament Reception on Dec 10th for Haemophilia Scotland and The Hepatitis C Trust which will be addressed by the new Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Shona Robinson MSP. This reception is a chance for those affected in Scotland to talk directly to MSPs about what they hope to see in the report and in the Scottish Government response to it.