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Health: Contaminated Blood Products

Volume 712: debated on Monday 29 June 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 3 June (WA 92), what action Lord Darzi of Denham has taken since his assurance on 28 April (Official Report, House of Lords, col. 143) that he as a Minister would assist in securing a debate on the response to the Archer report; whether he asked or will ask for fulfilment of his assurance to be considered by the business managers and usual channels; and when the debate will take place. [HL4191]

Further to my previous Answer to you on this matter on 3 June, the department has contacted the Whips’ Office about a further debate on the Government's response to the Archer report. A decision on whether to hold such a debate remains a matter for the House business managers.

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To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 15 June (WA 179), whether they will now review the conditions under which the widow of a patient infected by contaminated NHS blood products becomes eligible for financial assistance. [HL4354]

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To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 16 June (WA 198), what meetings took place between officials at the Department of Health and the Macfarlane Trust to retrieve and record the correct data to ascertain the average levels of disbursements paid to infected beneficiaries prior to the publication of the ministerial response on 20 May to the report of the Independent Public Inquiry headed by Lord Archer of Sandwell; and what records of such meetings were kept. [HL4450]

Departmental officials did not meet the Macfarlane Trust to discuss financial or other details of the government response to Lord Archer’s report, prior to the publication of that response.

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To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 16 June (WA 198), whether officials in the Department of Health suggested to the Association of British Insurers that the association hold meetings with officers of the Macfarlane Trust. [HL4453]

The department has not suggested to the Association of British Insurers that it should hold meetings with the MacFarlane Trust. The association is free to meet the trust if it chooses.

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To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 16 June (WA 198), why the ministerial response on 20 May to the report of the Independent Public Inquiry headed by Lord Archer of Sandwell stated that “the increased payments we are making available will help people infected with HIV to meet higher insurance premiums they may face” when officials were advised by the Association of British Insurers that it was not possible to calculate the total cost of life insurance provision for patients with HIV or hepatitis C or both by contaminated blood products as the premiums would vary for each individual and would be dependent on their particular circumstances. [HL4454]

As stated in the Government's response to the Archer report, we will be increasing the amount of financial relief to those infected with human immunodeficiency virus to £12,800 per annum. The Government's response did not state that these heightened levels of financial assistance would be sufficient to meet insurance premiums, but that individuals will be able to use this money to help meet their insurance premiums, should they so choose.