REPORT OF THE EXPERT GROUP ON FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT
EXPERT GROUP ON FINANCIAL AND OTHER SUPPORT
Further to my letter of 10 January, I am writing to inform you of the outcome of the discussion on Hepatitis C at the meeting of the Health and Community Care Committee on 29 January.
As you are aware, I announced my intention to establish a scheme to make ex-gratia payments to those who are suffering harm, at the meeting of the Committee on 11 December 2002. Following further consideration of the complex issues involved, I am now in a position to inform you in more detail of the type of scheme which the Executive would like to implement.
I believe that an initial lump sum of 20,000 should be paid to those who have Hepatitis C as a result of receiving blood, blood products or tissue from the NHS in Scotland. In addition, a further 25,000 should be paid to those who suffer serious deterioration in their physical condition because of their Hepatitis C infection, eg cirrhosis, liver cancer or other similar serious condition(s).
I appreciate that these proposals do not fully implement the recommendations of the Expert Group but I hope you will agree that given the current constraints on the NHS, they are a significant step forward and to a large extent reflect the principles of the Group's recommendations.
We are still awaiting a view from the UK Government on the 'devolved and reserved powers' issue which I hope will be resolved shortly.