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Health: Contaminated Blood Products

Volume 711: debated on Wednesday 3 June 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate the Department of Health has made of the cost of the proposals set out in its response of 20 May to the report of the Independent Public Inquiry headed by Lord Archer of Sandwell into the infection of haemophilia patients with HIV and hepatitis C by contaminated NHS blood products; and whether they will provide a breakdown of the costs of each of the proposals in the response. [HL3891]

The estimated annual cost of honouring the Government's commitment to increase financial assistance available to those infected with HIV and their dependants is in the order of some millions of pounds. Our intention is that the annual payment to each infected individual should be double the average annual payment at present. The details of payments to infected individuals and to their dependants remain to be clarified through detailed discussion with the trustees of the Macfarlane and Eileen Trusts. Those discussions have commenced.

The estimated cost of the other proposals set out in the Government's response to Lord Archer's independent inquiry report on National Health Service supplied contaminated blood and blood products is £100,000 per annum until March 2014 to support the Haemophilia Society; £10,000 per annum to support twice-yearly meetings with the Haemophilia Alliance; and £50,000 to fund a look-back exercise to identify other patients with bleeding disorders who may have been infected via their treatment.

It is not possible at present to estimate the additional costs which may arise from Government's commitment to review, in 2014, the Skipton Fund, which makes payments to those infected with hepatitis C.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the remarks by Lord Darzi of Denham on 28 April (Official Report, House of Lords, col. 143) undertaking to assist in securing time for their response to the report of the Independent Public Inquiry headed by Lord Archer of Sandwell into the use of contaminated blood in the NHS treatment of haemophilia patients to be debated in the House of Lords, when the debate will take place; and whether they will indicate its timing, following their response to the Archer report being made by Written Statement. [HL3904]

The department would be happy to debate this issue in the House of Lords. However, all debate requests are subject to consultation and agreement with the Government Whips Office and the usual channels of the House.