SCOTTISH victims of the NHS infected blood scandal told MSPs that improvements to financial support must be made as a matter of urgency.

Holyrood’s Health Committee heard the implementation of new arrangements would go some way to giving victims and their families closure, following a lengthy battle for justice.

Representatives of those affected were also highly critical of the six-year Penrose Inquiry, which looked into contaminated NHS blood supplies and published its findings in March last year.

Hundreds of people in Scotland, many of whom were haemophiliac patients, were infected with hepatitis C and HIV through contaminated blood and blood products by the NHS in the 1970s and 80s.

The inquiry made just one recommendation – that people who had a blood transfusion before 1991 should now be tested for hep C.

Bill Wright, of Haemophilia Scotland, told the committee that while for some it was not money that mattered, and apologies from the First Minister and Health Secretary had meant a great deal, for many it was a question of “financial recognition”.

“If we go down the route of legal compensation, this will continue for years,” he said.

“Now, we don’t want that, we want to try and get money to people as soon as possible.”

Following the publication of the findings, Health Secretary Shona Robison set up the Contaminated Blood Financial Support Review Group.

It said those infected with HIV, or who developed advanced hepatitis C, should get £27,000 per year – the equivalent of the average Scottish salary. They are currently offered £15,000.

The Scottish Government said it had yet to decide whether to implement the plan.