The Scottish Government today issued a press release covering its announcement that all the key proposals of the Financial Review Group have been accepted.
Curiously SIBF’s Convener not asked to contribute to the Government’s Press release.
The Forum issued its own Press release in response, which we feature below.
SIBF welcomes Scottish Government decision on Contaminated Blood but argues more needs to be done.
The Scottish Infected Blood Forum1 welcomes the Scottish Government’s announcement that it has accepted the key recommendations proposed by the Financial Review Group2 Final Report3.
The proposals are a step forward in providing some form of justice for the innocent victims of the ”worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS”4.
In particular SIBF acknowledges the Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison’s support, the careful way she listened to victims and the continuing efforts she has made to produce this part of the settlement.
However, the Forum remains critical of the failure to address the issues of the majority of victims who do not qualify for annual payments (so-called ‘stage 1’5) due to inappropriate and outmoded arbitrary illness thresholds, as detailed in SIBF’s Note of Dissent6.
According to the work of the Penrose Inquiry, stage 1 victims account for approximately 80% of all those infected.
For those infected in Scotland, the Scottish Government has committed to:
As detailed in SIBF’s Scoping Exercise8, many victims who are classified as stage 1 (the 80%) are chronically ill as a result of receiving contaminated blood and blood products from the NHS, and the side-effects of past treatments, and have been forced out of employment due to health issues caused by the infection. Many have suffered, and continue to suffer, substantial financial hardship due to being State infected. They, their families and the families of those who have died should be treated with equal primacy together with those who have been classed Stage 2.
SIBF Convener, Philip Dolan MBE commented “We welcome the Scottish Government’s statement which is a step forward in obtaining some justice for victims. SIBF and partner organisations will continue to lobby and argue for a full, fair and equal settlement for the needs of the majority, who seek to live out the remainder of their lives with financial stability and dignity”. He added “There is no guarantee that the ongoing needs of the majority who are deemed to fall below Stage 2 will be met. The fear is that more people from this key group will die before a satisfactory and just financial settlement is provided to them”.
SIBF’s position is detailed in the Note of Dissent Position Paper6 which was included in the Group’s Final Report.
The Forum welcomes the opportunity to continue the work with the Scottish Government and others, when the Financial Review Group reconvenes after the Scottish Parliament elections, to ensure that this part of the settlement is paid promptly to victims. SIBF hopes that the Department of Health in London will offer every assistance in a timely fashion to support the direction of travel in Scotland.
Ends (555 words)
For further information, please contact:
Philip Dolan MBE, Convener of the Scottish Infected Blood Forum
tel: 07974 823937 / 0141 649 0050, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 18 March 2016
Notes to Editors: