CAMPAIGNERS have urged the SNP Government to implement Scottish proposals on support for those affected by the contaminated blood scandal and not the ideas contained in a “worrying” new Conservative consultation.

Tory ministers yesterday apologised for the tragedy, which left thousands of people infected with Hepatitis C and HIV from NHS products in the 1970s and 80s.

The UK Government also announced an extra £100 million for victims alongside proposals to reform the current system of financial support.

Burt Scottish groups warned that these appeared far less generous than those suggested by a review north of the Border last year.

Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison, who ordered the Scottish report in the wake of the Penrose Inquiry into the tragedy, is due to make an announcement about a new scheme for those affected before World Haemophilia Day on April 17.

Dan Farthing-Sykes, chief executive officer of Haemophilia Scotland, said: "The proposals which have been brought forward by the Department of Health in England fall worryingly short when compared to the proposals currently being considered by the Scottish Government.

“The Scottish proposals would increase the ongoing payments to those whose health has been damaged most by more than £12,000, the equivalent figure in the Department of Health proposals is just £251.

“Similarly, the plan from south of the Border has no equivalent of the widows' pension which is an important part of what has been recommended in Scotland."

He added: “My initial response to the proposals is that they demonstrate that the Scottish Financial Support Review Group were right to recommend that there should be a separate approach in Scotland.

"Many of our friends south of the Border will feel deeply disappointed with what has been put on the table."

Unveiling the consultation, Tory Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said that she wanted to "say sorry on behalf of the Government to every person affected by this tragedy”.

She added that “no amount of money” could make up for the impact on people’s lives.

The Conservative Government has been accused of "foot dragging" over the review, first pledged in the wake of the Penrose report last March.

In December the Scottish review recommended sufferers should be given a yearly payment equal to the average salary of £27,000 for their "suffering, losses, and ongoing needs".

It also called on Scottish ministers to increase their contribution to £1m a year and suggested increased lump sum payments for those with chronic hepatitis C, alongside flexible support and assistance grants, and ongoing financial support for husbands, wives or civil partners of those who have died from both diseases.

That last suggestion is missing from Conservative ministers' proposals.

The Tory Government is also proposing new 'health assessments' that would determine the level of annual payment for many sufferers.

Other proposals include an increase in funding of a few hundreds pounds a year to £15,000 for all those currently receiving regular support.

Those who are contaminated with more than one virus should get £30,000, the consultation suggests.

Ms Ellison admitted that some people the announcement would "come too late".

The consultation will last for 12 weeks, finishing in April.

Labour also apologised for the scandal, saying that successive governments had failed those affected.

When the Penrose report was published last year there was an angry response from victims and relatives, some of whom labelled it a "whitewash".