Health Minister Welcomes Infected Blood Compensation Scheme

The UK Government's announcement of further details on compensation arrangements for those infected and/or affected by contaminated blood, has been welcomed by Health Minister Robin Swann.

This includes details of the expanded groups that will be eligible for compensation and a commitment that further interim payments of £210,000 will be paid to living infected beneficiaries ahead of the establishment of the final scheme.

Minister Swann said: "This devastating tragedy has caused huge financial hardships, suffering and loss.

"In his recommendations, Sir Brian Langstaff was clear that 'proper compensation' needs to be put in place now. The infected and/or affected have already waited too long, and sadly members of the community have not lived to see this announcement.

"While this announcement on compensation is to be welcomed, the Government has a moral responsibility to work swiftly to fully implement the compensation scheme.
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"My Department will be working with counterparts in Whitehall to ensure that the payments will be made to people in Northern Ireland at pace, while at the same time working in tandem across the health service and with colleagues across the Executive to consider the recommendations of the Infected Blood Inquiry."

Interim compensation payments were introduced in NI in 2022, building on the support that had previously been provided to those infected and bereaved.

Minister Swann said: "The actions taken by UK health services over several decades have had harrowing consequences. While compensation cannot turn back time, it is important the Government recognises the devastating impact this tragedy has had on so many lives.

"Finally, I welcome the appointment of Sir Robert Francis as interim chair of the Infected Blood Compensation Authority. Sir Robert has undertaken extensive study on compensation as part of the Infected Blood Inquiry and will be well-placed to provide direction and structure for this body. Importantly the views of the infected blood community will be sought to inform the work of the Infected Blood Compensation Authority."

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