UK Government launches consultation on new proposals for contaminated blood support scheme

The UK Government has launched a consultation seeking views on new proposals for reform to the support provided to people who were infected with hepatitis C via NHS contaminated blood in England.

The consultation includes a focus on a new ‘Special Category Mechanism’ for people with stage 1 hepatitis C (i.e. people with pre-cirrhotic liver disease). This mechanism, according to the consultation, is aimed at benefiting people who feel that their infection, or its treatment, has had a “substantial and long-term adverse impact on their ability to carry out routine daily activities.”

While initially the Government had proposed providing a £50,000 lump sum to people who successfully applied for the Special Category Mechanism, the new proposals mean that the £50,000 lump sum payment would instead be reserved for stage 2 beneficiaries, i.e. people with advanced hepatitis C-related liver disease. Among other new proposals, the Government is no longer proposing to introduce a fixed increase to beneficiaries’ annual payments.

The full consultation, as well as information on how to respond to it, can be found here.