To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason the level of compensation for victims of the contaminated blood scandal in England is less than that in Scotland; and whether an assessment was made of the implications for the level of compensation of the status of healthcare as a non-devolved policy area when British haemophiliacs were treated with contaminated products.
Since 1988, successive Governments have continued to provide ex-gratia payments to those affected by infected blood, in recognition of the special circumstances of those inadvertently affected. As liability has not been established in the majority of cases, it is not appropriate to talk about infected blood support payments in terms of compensation.
As this is a devolved power it was for Ministers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to decide how to provide for the beneficiaries within their jurisdictions.
The English and Scottish schemes are different, for example, the Scottish scheme does not provide for regular annual payments for everyone with Stage 1 hepatitis C, nor for a Special Category Mechanism (SCM) for higher payments which again is open to all with stage 1 hepatitis C which has been shown to have a substantial and long-term negative impact on their daily lives, which is available to beneficiaries in England.
Through the SCM we have been able to provide increased payments to a much larger number of people who need them either now or in the future.