Northern Ireland news

Health Minister announces annual financial support for those bereaved as result of NHS contaminated blood

Health Minister Robin Swann has announced annual financial support for those bereaved as a result of NHS contaminated blood. Picture by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye/PA Wire
Marie Louise McConville

HEALTH Minister Robin Swann has announced financial support for those bereaved as a result of NHS contaminated blood.

The annual payments will be made to people registered on the Northern Ireland Infected Blood Payment Scheme who have not been infected by contaminated blood but have been left bereaved following the death of a spouse or partner who contracted Hepatitis C or HIV after receiving NHS-supplied infected blood or blood products in Northern Ireland.

The payments represent a Departmental funding commitment of around £400,000 annually and range from £14,079 to £33,561 per year.

The payments will be backdated to April 2020 and will continue into future years, rising annually with inflation.

Those eligible for the new payments will receive written notification of the details in the coming weeks.

Speaking about the new support, Mr Swann said: "When I took up post as Minister of Health last year, the issue of financial support for those impacted by contaminated blood was something that I wanted to address immediately.

"I announced one-off payments of £5,000 to non-infected spouses and partners but it was my always my intention to provide further financial support as soon as possible," he said.

"I have met with and corresponded with many affected people and I have listened to their experiences of how contaminated blood has impacted on their lives and the sacrifices they have had to make.

"I want to say to those who have been bereaved, you have not been forgotten.

"I sincerely hope this annual financial support will provide some long-term financial certainty as well as recognition for those bereaved through contaminated blood."

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