Our Chief Executive, Ian Green has written to the Paymaster General, the Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, to ask her to match the announcement made by Robin Swann, Northern Ireland Health Secretary made that annual payments of up to £33,500 will be given to those whose loved one died after contracting HIV or hepatitis C having been given infected blood.
At present, bereaved partners in Scotland receive 100% of their deceased partner’s payment for 12 months, then 75% of that amount going forward. In England, bereaved partners only receive a £10,000 one-off payment.
On average a victim of the Contaminated Blood Scandal dies every four days. Waiting for the Infected Blood Inquiry to publish its report before acting will leave many dying with concerns about the welfare of their partners and dependent children.
Clair Walton, a widow who was infected with HIV as a result of the Contaminated Blood Scandal, said: 'A proper bereavement pension would have given my husband Bryan peace of mind in his final days. That I was a widow as well as infected was not acknowledged.
'I had to rely on charity, as I was infected with HIV because of contaminated blood products given to him. Although none of this would have happened if everyone had been given proper compensation in the first place.'
Ian Green, Chief Executive at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: 'Everyone who has lost a loved one as a result of the Contaminated Blood Scandal should have access to a bereavement pension. The partners and dependant of the individual who has died should not have the burden of having to worry about the welfare of their loved ones.
'It’s wonderful to have some good news for those in Northern Ireland with the announcement from Health Minister Robin Swann. It’s now time for the Paymaster General to follow Northern Ireland’s lead and level up payments to the bereaved in England.'
In Ian Green’s letter to Penny Mordaunt, he has also asked her to drive forward actions on parity between those infected with HIV as a result of the Contaminated Blood Scandal both within the schemes and across the UK.
The Paymaster General has failed to answer written questions with a date on when a framework for compensation for victims of the Contaminated Blood Scandal and their families will be published.