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SIBF’s Note of Dissent

“We, the elected officers and management committee, acting on behalf of the Scottish Infected Blood Forum, do hereby express our dissent on behalf of our members to key elements of the Report and Recommendations arising from the Contaminated Blood Financial Support Review Group. This Note of Dissent embodies the unanimous view of all four SIBF representatives on the Financial Support Review Group (Philip Dolan, Mary McCluskey, Liz Ferguson, Tommy Leggate) as well as the full management committee, and reflects the views expressed by all members at our recent Annual General Meeting. We have expressed our concerns in detail but in summary the main issues include:

  • The retention of the distinction between so-called Stage 1 and so-called Stage 2 HCV patient victims.
  • The apparent lack of recognition of the significant levels of health impacts on so-called Stage 1 patient victims compared to so-called Stage 2 people, as well as co-infected persons.
  • The resulting differences in the support being proposed to so-called Stage 1 patient victims in comparison to so-called Stage 2 patient victims, as well as co-infected persons, where so-called Stage 2 patient victims are perceived to be given primacy, which we view as unjustified.
  • The proposed financial settlement for so-called Stage 1 patient victims, amounting to £50,000 cumulatively, does not present any increase on the original recommendations laid down by Lord Ross in his Expert Group dating back from 12 years ago and neither does it incorporate any inflationary impact dating back to that time or before.
  • The apparent ceiling within the proposals to the total value of the support payments being proposed, believing that they do not represent full and fair levels in comparison to acknowledged losses (not least financial) that have resulted from people being state infected. We note that the consultation process did not include the opportunity for people to formally detail their losses, either actual or estimated.
  • The lack of recognition of the clear majority view among patient victims to see lump-sum payments as preferable to just annual payments.
  • The proposals still retain the possibility of resorting to a means testing regime (or prioritisation) if there is some reason to require restricting payment amounts. We believe this may result in clinicians making subjective judgements about health impacts as opposed to an objective assessment of a simple confirmation of chronic infection status.
  • The apparent retention of the criteria to assess levels of health detriment that are still focussed on liver factors, which we believe should be immediately extended to include extra-hepatic factors and other health impacts.
  • The lack of an explicit commitment to a numerical equivalence of substantive patient victim representation on the assessment and appeals bodies.”

Philip Dolan MBE, Convener

For and on behalf of the Scottish Infected Blood Forum Management Committee

 

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