100 signatures reached
To: Scottish Goverment
Exempt Haemophiliacs from PIP assessment
Exempt Haemophiliacs infected from contaminated blood products from humiliating PIP assessment
Why is this important?
A generation of Haemophiliacs were infected with HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C through contaminated blood products (Factor 8 & 9) on the NHS throughout the early 1980's.
People with haemophilia can bleed into the joint space after an injury or, at times, without obvious cause. The pressure of blood filling the joint cavity causes significant pain and can lead to chronic swelling and deformity. This is a condition which can, at best, be delayed, but invariably leads to chronic Arthritis.
Unlike modern clotting agents the Factors given to this generation weren't as effective as they are now and it's very rare to find a patient who hasn't suffered lasting multiple joint damage. In recognition of this many were awarded higher lifetime rates of Attendance Allowance and or Mobility Allowance (now combined into DLA). This has allowed many to live a much more productive and full life than they otherwise could.
DLA is currently being replaced by Personal Independence Payment. This requires anyone in receipt of DLA, regardless of term awarded, to undergo an assessment which ranges from highly stressful to traumatic.
Given that most surviving Haemophiliacs from this group have already been left traumatised by the multiple infections given to them many are viewing this assessment with much trepidation and concern. Some Haemophiliacs have surrendered the benefit rather than have to go through it.
The Scottish Parliament has taken steps to alleviate the financial concerns of this group, well above the lamentable efforts by the UK parliament and should be applauded for their compassion and understanding. It would greatly help the survivors further if they were made exempt from this humiliating process.