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Jackie Doyle-Price - Department of Health

In 2016 the Government decided to improve the way we support people who have suffered as a result of the infected blood tragedy of the 1970s and 1980s. At this time the Government committed an additional 125 million of support to those affected, more than doubling the Department of Healths annual spending on the scheme over the Spending Review period to April 2021.

Following the 2016 consultation we announced new annual payments for people with chronic hepatitis C (stage 1 infection) and a new one-off payment for bereaved partners and spouses; a new process for those with stage 1 infection to apply for the higher payment amount; and increased annual payments from 2018/19.

In March 2017 we launched a second consultation, looking at the new voluntary process by which those infected by stage 1 Hepatitis C can apply for higher annual payments (the Special Category Mechanism). The Special Category Mechanism aims to benefit beneficiaries with hepatitis C stage 1 who consider their infection, or its treatment, to have a substantial and long-term impact on their ability to carry out routine daily activities.

The consultation was open to all beneficiaries and other interested parties across the UK to comment on our proposals. The consultation closed on 17 April 2017.

The government has listened carefully to the consultation responses, analysed pre- and post-consultation evidence from other sources, and reviewed consultation proposals in line with respondents views and evidence. Following this, the consultation response sets out the Governments plans for reform, which are summarised below:

  • Introduction of planned uplifts in annual payments from 2018/19. All beneficiaries will receive an increase in annual payments from 2018/19.
  • A new Special Category Mechanism (SCM) for those with hepatitis C infection at stage 1 in November 2017.
  • The introduction of a single programme of discretionary support for all infected and bereaved.
  • An increase in the overall level of funding for discretionary support from 2018/19.
  • All annual payments will include the winter fuel payment.
  • Addition of type 2 or 3 cryoglobulinemia accompanied by membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, MPGN), to the current hepatitis C stage 2 conditions.

A letter will be sent to the beneficiaries of the English scheme to make them aware of these changes, and advise them on how to access the consultation response, a link to which is also provided as part of this statement. When the SCM process opens beneficiaries with hepatitis C at stage 1 will receive a letter telling them how to apply.

For the first time, all beneficiaries of any of the current five schemes will be receiving support from a single scheme. As previously announced the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) will become the new single scheme administrator in England, with effect from 1 November 2017. While this transition takes place, annual and discretionary payments and services will continue to be made by the current schemes to ensure a smooth transition to the new scheme with minimum impact on the beneficiaries.

The Government strongly believes that all those who are affected by this tragedy should be supported by a fair and transparent scheme that focuses on their welfare and long-term independence. With this additional funding and scheme reform, the support provided to those affected by the infected blood tragedy will be greater and fairer than ever before.

I attach a copy of the full consultation and the related equality analysis and it can also be found on using the following link:

Priti Patel - Department for International Development

The UK is an acknowledged world leader in the provision of development and humanitarian aid. Our aid budget acts not only in the interests of the worlds poorest, but also in Britains long term national interest.

Our global leadership in development requires continuing efforts to improve value for money, efficiency, innovation and effectiveness. I am therefore introducing tough new measures to ensure that the aid managed by DFID contractors delivers the best possible results for the worlds poorest people, provides value for taxpayers money and upholds high standards of ethical and professional behaviour.

A tough new DFID Supply Partner Code of Conduct will cover commercial requirements, ethical behaviours, transparency obligations, environmental sustainability and social responsibility. DFID will monitor suppliers implementation of the Code, with legally enforceable sanctions for non-compliance.

DFID will introduce greater transparency to drive down costs along its supply chains. DFID contracts will now include tough new measures to bear down even harder on costs, fees and overheads and to provide greater transparency in contracts and throughout supply chains. These include Open Book Accounting clauses enabling DFID to obtain, use and verify information from its suppliers to make sure we have access to full financial information on costs to enable us to fully challenge value for money. It will also include a clause, which we can use if necessary to intervene to ensure a fair deal for the taxpayer.

DFID will open up procurement to new entrants in the UK and overseas, simplifying documentation and processes and making greater use of digital platforms and social media to allow potential suppliers to access contract opportunities. A programme of business engagement events in the UK and overseas will facilitate engagement by new suppliers and the Department will also carry out research into the specific barriers facing by local suppliers in developing countries in accessing contract opportunities.

DFID will level the playing field for small suppliers and sub-contractors, ending the imposition of agreements which restrict sub-contractors ability to work for other suppliers. It will introduce new protections for small suppliers and sub-contractors operating in consortia, including contract checks to eradicate so called bid candy practices in which major suppliers drop sub-contractors once they have won the contract. We will continue to break up suitable tenders into manageable sizes and services to better enable smaller suppliers to compete.

A robust, comprehensive approach to supplier management will enable the Department to hold suppliers to account across their entire portfolio of work with DFID, bringing DFID into line with best practice in the private sector. This will allow DFID to challenge delivery partners more strongly on value for money, identify underlying performance problems and tap into a suppliers wider areas of expertise.

DFID will put more information in the public domain, so that members of the public can assure themselves directly that DFIDs aid is being used effectively. This will include a policy on allowable costs in day rates paid to consultants and annual league tables of supplier performance. We will publish annual information on our commercial practices, setting out performance during the year and making further recommendations for improvement.

These reforms will complement the detailed line-by-line review of every programme in DFIDs portfolio, either already approved or in design phase, carried out by my Ministerial team. They will help to ensure maximum impact from the development programmes delivered by DFIDs contractors, complementing the work done in the Civil Society Partnership Review to strengthen value for money from grants to Civil Society Organisations and in the Multilateral Development Review to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the international development system.

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