Following two extensive public consultations in 2016 and 2017, the current infected blood support scheme for England was introduced in 2017. These reforms committed an additional £125 million of support to those affected over the Spending Review period to April 2021, more than doubling the Department’s annual spending on the scheme. New annual payments for people with stage 1 hepatitis C infection and a new one-off payment for bereaved partners and spouses were introduced. In addition, a new process for those with stage 1 hepatitis C infection who consider their infection, or its treatment, to have a substantial and long-term impact on their ability to carry out routine daily activities to apply for the higher payment amount was also announced. Alongside these reforms a single programme of discretionary support for all, infected and bereaved, was introduced with an increased level of funding available.
The Government has noted recent concerns that have been raised through the Infected Blood Inquiry about the support provided. This matter is receiving careful consideration and an update will be provided as soon as practicable.