The new Chief Executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, Richard Angell, has called on Health Minister Will Quince to immediately clarify funding for the CPI (consumer price index) uplift of ex gratia payments from the Infected Blood Support Schemes.
Richard Angell said: 'The situation for the infected blood community is already stressful as they are waiting for the Infected Blood Inquiry to report, and for the Government to make progress on compensation.
'The uplift needs to be confirmed by Government now to avoid any additional anxiety for the victims of the Contaminated Blood Scandal.'
Read the full text of the letter to Will Quince MP below.
Letter to Will Quince MP
Dear Mr Quince,
I am writing to you with reference to your role as sponsor of NHS Business Services Authority and specifically the English Infected Blood Support Schemes (EIBSS), As you will be aware the EIBSS provides the ex gratia payments for those infected with HIV as a result of the contaminated blood scandal and the widows of the many who died as a result of being infected.
Our team at Terrence Higgins Trust who work with these members of the HIV community have received a significant number of calls from people distressed at the lack of communication around the annual CPI uplift. We have spoken to EIBSS directly about this. They have informed us that they will not receive the information about the annual CPI uplift until the end of the month. The increase is due to come into force at the start of next month. This delay, we believe, will mean that EIBSS is now in breach of its own service level agreement with beneficiaries who should have received this information at least six weeks in advance of 1 April.
Can you therefore please confirm that EIBSS payments will increase by 10.1% on 1 April 2023? In addition, confirm that the funding given to the devolved nations’ Infected Blood Support Schemes will also be increased to allow these payments to also be made in line with CPI?
The situation for the infected blood community is already stressful as they are waiting for the Infected Blood Inquiry to report and for the government to make progress on compensation. A swift reply on this would be appreciated.
CC: The Rt Hon Jeremy Quin MP, Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office