On 25 March 2021, the Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann announced plans to introduce enhanced financial support for eligible hepatitis C Stage 1 beneficiaries on the NI Infected Blood Payment Scheme (NI Scheme).
This additional financial support, which is known as the ‘Special Category Mechanism’ (SCM) in England, ‘enhanced hep C +’ in Wales and ‘severely impacted category’ in Scotland, is intended to benefit hepatitis C stage 1 beneficiaries who consider their infection or its treatment to have a substantial and long-term adverse impact on their ability to carry out routine daily activities.
Minister Swann has committed to taking forward in consultation with stakeholders.
This consultation exercise is an essential part of the policy development process to introduce a system for enhanced financial support for hepatitis C stage 1 beneficiaries on the NI Infected Blood Payment Scheme that is fair and reasonable in the interests of achieving greater parity of financial support across the UK, whilst demonstrating proper accountability for public money.
It is important that we hear the views from anyone who is likely to be affected by this new provision.