Welcome to The Skipton Fund
The Skipton Fund is a UK-wide ex gratia payment scheme to make payments to certain people who were infected with hepatitis C through treatment with NHS blood or blood products prior to September 1991 and other persons eligible for payment in accordance with the scheme's provisions.
The History of the Skipton Fund
The Skipton Fund was established on 25 March 2004 by the Department of Health (England), acting for and on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health, the Scottish Ministers, the National Assembly for Wales and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (Northern Ireland) (together "the UK health administrations"), to administer the scheme and make payments to relevant claimants on behalf of each of the UK health administrations.
Scottish Ministers have adopted the Skipton Fund as a scheme under section 28 (Infection with hepatitis C as a result of NHS treatment etc) of the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005.
Arrangements for 2017/18
In July 2016 it was announced that a new single scheme administrator would be introduced to replace the existing organisations which provide support to people with HIV and Hepatitis C, including the Skipton Fund. The process for appointing the new administrator was due to start in November 2016 but this has been delayed.
The Department of Health has now advised us that we will continue to provide support to people from 1 April 2017 onwards until there is a new administrator in place.
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Update on Scheme Reform – Northern Ireland Friday 20th January 2017
On 22 December 2016, the Health Minister in Northern Ireland, Michelle O’Neill, announced scheme reform on the same level as announced for England. More information can be found at https://www.northernireland.gov.uk/news/michelle-oneill-announces-improved-financial-support-people-affected-by-contaminated-blood The Alliance House organisations, including the Skipton Fund will now be writing to those infected in Northern Ireland, and bereaved spouses and partners, regarding the new payments that have been announced.
Statement from the Scottish Government regarding the new payments in Scotland Wednesday 21st December 2016
The existing UK schemes have recently made a statement regarding timescales for the implementation of the interim arrangements. Following our work with colleagues in the UK Department of Health and the Welsh and Northern Irish Governments and the UK schemes to agree changes to payment arrangements, the Skipton Fund and MFET have now written to all beneficiaries whose details have been verified and who are due to receive an additional payment this financial year via the Scottish payment arrangements – either an extra lump sum payment or increased annual payments. The increased annual payments and the additional £30,000 lump sums to those with Hepatitis C at Stage 1 should be paid out shortly.
Any eligible beneficiaries with chronic Hepatitis C (at Stage 1) who received a letter from the Skipton Fund regarding the £30,000 lump sum payment, but have not yet completed and returned their form should do so as soon as possible if they wish to receive their payment this financial year. Any completed forms returned up until Friday 23 December 2016 will be paid as soon as possible this financial year. Unfortunately, if you do not return your form until after Friday 23 December 2016, you will not be able to receive your payment until April 2017 – the Scottish Government has asked the Skipton Fund to let anyone who returns their form after 23 December know that their form will be passed to NHS National Services Scotland for payment as early as possible in April 2017 under the new Scottish Infected Blood Support Scheme.
Payments for the bereaved Monday 19th December 2016
The Caxton Foundation, the Macfarlane Trust and the Eileen Trust will be writing to bereaved spouses and partners (of those who were infected in England and Wales) who are registered with the charities regarding the new payments. Further information about the payments for England can be found here, and information about the payments for Wales here.
If you are not registered with one of the above charities but believe you are eligible to apply to the Skipton Fund for the £10,000 payment for bereaved spouses/partners then please email The Skipton Fund at email@example.com and include in your email your name, address, the name of your late spouse/partner’s along with their creditor ID.
Scheme Reform Friday 11th November 2016
During the course of 2016, the governments in England, Scotland and Wales have all announced changes to the system of support for those infected with HIV and/or Hepatitis C as a result of contaminated blood, and their families.
In England, on 13 July 2016 the then Prime Minister, David Cameron MP, announced the government’s response to the consultation on contaminated blood which had been held between January and April 2016. A copy of the response and the changes can be found by following this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/infected-blood-reform-of-financial-and-other-support
In Scotland, on 18 March 2016 the Scottish Government announced changes to the level of support that it would be providing to those whose infection occurred in Scotland. More information can be found by following this link: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Health/Services/Blood
In Wales, the Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-Being & Sport published a written statement announcing that for 2016/17, the Welsh government would, as an interim measure, adopt the same new level of payments as those announced for England. The government would also be consulting those infected in Wales regarding any changes they would like to see to payments. More information can be found by following this link: http://gov.wales/about/cabinet/cabinetstatements/2016-new/bloodservice/?lang=en
In Northern Ireland no announcement regarding changes has been made. Payments will therefore continue to be made at existing levels until further notice.
Changes to payments
The Skipton Fund, which makes payments to those with infected with Hepatitis C, and MFET, which makes payments to those infected with HIV, have been asked to implement some of the new and enhanced payments in England, Scotland and Wales during 2016/17.
For England and Wales this involves:
- Making the new annual payment of £3,500 to those who have previously received only a Skipton Stage 1 lump sum payment
- Making the increased annual payment to those with HIV and at Skipton Stage 2
- Making the £10,000 lump sum payment to eligible bereaved spouses and partners
For Scotland this involves:
- Making the additional lump sum payments to those at Skipton Stage 1
- Making the increased annual payment to those with HIV and at Skipton Stage 2
The team at Alliance House, which the Skipton Fund and MFET are part of, have been asked to make these new and enhanced payments this year in addition to all existing work. As the team is small, we cannot make all the payments simultaneously. We will therefore be writing to the groups affected in stages, starting with those at Skipton Stage 1, followed by those with HIV and at Skipton Stage 2, and then the bereaved spouses/partners.
The Skipton Fund and MFET will write to everyone affected by the changes individually, giving further information about payments and timescales, and any further information required. We would ask that if you have any questions regarding the new payments that you wait for your letter before contacting the office.
Country of infection
Because different levels of payments are now in place for the four UK countries, the country in which a person was infected is important information. When we write to everyone about the new or enhanced payments, we will confirm the country to which they have been allocated, based on the data we hold. For applicants where there is reference to treatment in more than one country of the UK, we have been asked to assign the applicant to the country of residence at the time of their registration.
Once you have received your letter from us, if you believe you have not been allocated to the country in which your infection occurred, you can appeal the decision to the relevant government. The following document provides further information on how to appeal: Appeals