Wales Infected Blood Support Scheme – WIBSS

Established in October 2017, the Wales Infected Blood Support Scheme (WIBSS) aims to provide support to people who have been infected with Hepatitis C and/or HIV following treatment with NHS blood, blood products or tissue.

Taking over from the existing UK schemes (Eileen Trust, Macfarlane Trust, MFET Ltd, Skipton Fund and Caxton Foundation), WIBSS aims to provide both a streamlined financial payment service and personalised support for Welsh beneficiaries.

 

Parity Update – 25th March 2021

Please see the announcement regarding financial parity made today – Written Statement: Infected Blood: Update on financial parity (25 March 2021) | GOV.WALES

 

 

GUIDANCE ON COVID-19 FROM WELSH GOVERNMENT 

Those at high risk: anyone who has a liver or other transplant due to the immunosuppressant medication they will be taking.  This group will be contacted with advice, but are strongly encouraged to self-isolate.

Those at increased risk (but not in the high risk category):

  • Anyone with hepatitis C (HCV) who has not achieved a sustained viral response (SVR)
  • Anyone who has achieved SVR following treatment, but has liver cirrhosis
  • Anyone with hepatitis B
  • Anyone who is HIV positive with a CD4 count less than 350/mm3
  • Anyone with other risk factors, such as being aged over 70 years old or pregnant or who is offered the annual flu jab for any other reason

For those who are co-infected with hepatitis C and HIV, they should focus on the HIV advice above.

Anyone in any of these categories does not need to completely self-isolate (although obviously can if they feel more comfortable doing so), but should carefully follow government and NHS Information/advice on social distancing to minimise their risk of infection.

Those not in any of these categories:

  • Anyone who had HCV, but has achieved SVR and doesn’t have cirrhosis
  • Anyone who has HIV, but with a CD4 count>350/mm3 and an undetectable viral load

People in these categories should follow the general public health advice on minimising risk, but are not at particular risk if they contract covid-19.  Advice from HCV experts is that previous treatment (such as interferon) is not known to impact on people’s risk from covid-19.

 

The WIBSS service provision may be impacted by Coronavirus.  We will obviously strive to ensure regular payments continue to be paid to you; provision of advice and support is still available; and any disruption is kept to a minimum.  Please bear with us during these exceptional circumstances.

During the current pandemic we are complying with the Welsh Government guidance and a number of our staff are working from home. If your call is not answered immediately, please leave a message with your name and a contact number and we will get back to you promptly.

You can also contact the WIBSS Manager Mary Swiffen Walker on 07970 601561 during office hours.

For advice and guidance on the virus, please click on the links below –

https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/

https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Topic | GOV.WALES

https://www.bhiva.org/SARS-CoV-2-vaccine-advice-for-adults-living-with-HIV-plain-english-version

https://britishlivertrust.org.uk/update-for-people-with-liver-disease-on-the-covid-19-vaccine/

https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/immunisation-and-vaccines/covid-19-vaccination-information/

 

For information about the Infected Blood Inquiry, please click on the link below –

https://www.infectedbloodinquiry.org.uk/