Long-awaited contaminated blood consultation launched

Health minister Jane Ellison speaks in the House of Commons, London, during a Commons debate which c

Health minister Jane Ellison speaks in the House of Commons, London, during a Commons debate which could see Britain become the first country in the world to permit the creation of IVF babies with DNA from three different people. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday February 3, 2015. MPs will have a free vote at the end of the 90-minute debate on a controversial amendment to the 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act. See PA story HEALTH Mitochondrial. Photo credit should read: PA Wire - Credit: PA

A long-awaited blueprint of support for the victims of contaminated blood has been set out by a health minister today.

Jane Ellison today launched a 12-week consultation into proposals which will see people whose blood was infected in the 1980s assessed to established how much they should be given in an annual payment.

Alongside the plans to extend annual payments to more people, proposals to give newly bereaved partners and spouses cash support have also been set out alongside access to new treatments for Hepatitis C.

But the consultation does not include compensation which has been called for by victims and campaigners.

IT comes after the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that Italy must pay £7.7million to more than 350 people who contracted deadly viruses, including HIV and hepatitis C, from contaminated blood products.

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The court ruled that victims were entitled to compensation because 'the causal link between the transfusion of infected blood and their contamination has been proved'.

The consultation said: 'We feel there is a need for a more accessible and equitable system of care and support, that focuses on the welfare of infected individuals. The Department of Health recognises its responsibility to everyone infected as a result of NHS treatment and wants to tailor the approach accordingly.'

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Ms Ellison told MPs that she realised that the consultation, which has seen many delays since it was announced, would come too late for some people.

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