It is estimated that about 3,000 Scots were infected with hepatitis C and HIV through NHS blood products in the 1970s through to the early 1990s.
In July 2017, the UK Government announced a UK-wide inquiry into infected blood. This inquiry began in May 2018 and is being chaired by Sir Brian Langstaff.
Scottish Infected Blood Support Scheme
This Scottish Infected Blood Support scheme came into force on 1 April 2017 as a result of the Scottish Financial Review Group report on financial support. The scheme was set up to provide support and assistance for those infected with Hepatitis C, HIV, or both, as a result of NHS treatment. The scheme is managed by NHS National Services Scotland.
An amending scheme document published in 2017 made some small changes to the original scheme. These changes included allowing long-term cohabiting partners of some infected people who have died to qualify for annual payments in the same way as a widow, widower or civil partner.
We commissioned an evidence-based review of the health impacts caused by chronic Hepatitis C infection and the clinical review report was published in July 2018.
In September 2018 Scottish Ministers confirmed that they will be accepting all of the recommendations in the clinical review report. The Scottish Infected Blood Support Amendment Scheme 2018, 20 December 2018 included the changes recommended in the clinical review report.
To protect payments under the Scottish Infected Blood Support Scheme from being devalued by inflation, the Scottish Ministers enacted a further Amendment Scheme, which came into force in April 2020, to increase payments by inflation annually.
Information on changes to SIBSS payments in light of the UK Government announcement of 25 March 2021
Following the UK Government announcement of 25 March 2021, we prepared a short statement on what this announcement means for SIBSS beneficiaries and subsequently published an amending scheme document, which brought the changes into force on 28 June 2021. A consolidated scheme document is also available for background only to show the Scheme with all changes made since 2017.
Information on eligibility and how to apply, as well as sources of additional support, is available on the Scottish Infected Blood Support Scheme section of the NHS National Services Scotland website.