Welsh Lib Dems Call for Equal Compensation for Welsh Victims of the Contaminated Blood Scandal

2011 Ionawr 11 3:08 PM

Kirsty Williams, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has today called on the Welsh government to ensure that Welsh victims of the contaminated blood scandal receive the same compensation as those in England.

Yesterday, the UK government confirmed that payments to people in England who contacted Hepatitis C as a result of being given contaminated blood products would be significantly increased.

There will be a doubling in the one-off payments made to people who suffer the worst effects of Hepatitis C and annual payments to Hepatitis C victims in line with payments already made to those who contracted HIV.

Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, Jenny Willott, has welcomed the news and written to the Health Minister calling for similar steps to be taken in Wales.

Commenting Kirsty Williams said:

"I welcome the publication of yesterdays review. This is a significant step forward for victims of the contaminated blood scandal and their families in England. Both the package of compensation to victims and their families as well as the apology by the UK government are very welcome steps forward.

"However, this announcement applies only to England. The UK government has made this money available through existing Department of Health budgets. The Welsh Assembly Government now needs to do likewise.

"We cannot be left with the position that Welsh victims receive less favourable treatment than victims who live in England.

"The Health Minister must now make an immediate statement to reassure all those Welsh victims and their families that swift action will be taken."

Jenny Willott, MP for Cardiff Central said;

"It has taken over 20 years to get this far and too many victims have already died without seeing justice.

"One of the most important aspects of the announcement was the apology given by the Secretary of State for Health. No amount of money will ever make up for this tragedy but campaigners have waited far too long for the Government truly to apologise."

Ends/ diwedd

Notes to editor:

  1. The full UK review can be found at: http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_123363
  2. Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central has written to the Health Minister and her letter is appended below.
  3. More information on the contaminated blood scandal can be found at: http://www.taintedblood.info/index.php

Ms Edwina Hart AM
Minister for Health and Social Services
Welsh Assembly Government
Cathays Park
CF10 3NQ

Ref: GD/EH/100111/Contaminated Blood

10th January 2011

Dear Edwina,

I know you are aware of the statement made today by the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley MP, about the review into support for victims of the contaminated blood scandal.

As a result of this review the Government is set to substantially increase payments to victims of the scandal who contracted Hepatitis C, alongside other measures to help victims and their families.

As youll be aware, the funding for these measures is being provided directly from the Department of Healths budget and so only applies to victims living in England. Some measures are already in place in Wales, such as free prescriptions, but others are not. Therefore, in order to provide that same support to those affected who live in Wales, the Assembly will need to provide additional funding to the Skipton Fund and the new body being set up to make discretionary payments.

As you will know there are a number of people living in Wales, particularly in South Wales, who have had their lives ruined by this tragedy and I am therefore writing to ask you to find the money necessary for those in Wales to receive the same support as those in England. I appreciate that these are very tough financial times, but I strongly believe that those whose lives have been so cruelly affected as a result of NHS treatment deserve special consideration, and I hope you feel the same.

Thank you in advance.

Yours sincerely
Jenny Willott MP
Cardiff Central

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