THOUSANDS of Scots who were infected with hepatitis C or HIV by the NHS will receive £100,000 by the end of the month, the UK Government has confirmed.
It is estimated that, from the early 70s to 1991, around 3000 Scots were infected with either hepatitis C or HIV through NHS blood or blood products – and are due compensation from the UK Government.
Those set to receive compensation will receive letters this week confirming that the cash will be delivered to them in the following 10 days, the Cabinet Office has announced.
Those who were infected will now receive interim compensation and in cases where the patient has died, their partner will receive the money instead.
This follows a July report from the chair of the infected blood inquiry, Brian Langstaff, that said compensation should be made “without delay”.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Nadhim Zahawi said: “I know from my own discussions with constituents who are victims of the infected blood scandal just how traumatic their heart-breaking experiences have been and I was proud to campaign as an MP on their behalf and continue that work as a government minister.
“No level of compensation will ever make up for the appalling treatment and circumstances that those affected by this scandal and their families have had to endure, but I hope that these interim payments go some way to demonstrate that we are, and always will be, on their side.”
The compensation will not be subject to any tax or national insurance contributions and will not affect any benefits recipients get.
Scotland’s public health minister Maree Todd welcomed the news.
She said: “We recognise how important the issue of interim payments has been for Scottish Infected Blood Support Scheme (SIBSS) members, and those in the other UK support schemes, who have suffered for so long.
“The interim compensation payments will build on the support already provided by SIBSS to many of those affected by this tragedy.”
She added: “Existing SIBSS beneficiaries – both infected beneficiaries and widows, widowers or long-term partners of an infected beneficiary who has died – will receive an interim payment of £100,000 on October 28 and should have received or will shortly receive a letter from SIBSS setting out details.
“These one-off interim payments are being administered by the Scottish ministers in conjunction with NHS National Services Scotland on behalf of the UK Government.”