Support our Nation today - please donate here

Welsh Government pledges lifelong financial support to Thalidomide survivors in Wales

29 Sep 2022 3 minute read
Pack of Thalidomide tablets. Photo by Stephencdickson is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

The Minister for Health, Eluned Morgan has announced a lifetime guarantee of financial assistance for those affected by the Thalidomide drug in Wales.

The current ten-year agreement for support via the Thalidomide Trust Health Grant comes to an end in March 2023.

Thalidomide was commonly used to treat morning sickness from 1958 to 1961. It was withdrawn in December 1961 when it was found to have caused serious birth defects in babies born to women who took the drug during pregnancy.

Around 30 Thalidomide survivors in Wales are beneficiaries of the Health Grant, with many of them now aged 60 years or older.

The Thalidomide Trust oversees distribution of the Health Grant to Thalidomide survivors who use the funding for a wide range of health purposes. These include costs associated with pain management, personal assistance and personal care, mobility and independence and access to healthcare interventions.

The Health Grant allows each recipients to personalise the way they spend the grant, based on their individual needs and preferences.

Since 2013 over £8m has been given to the Thalidomide Trust by the Welsh Government to support survivors.


Following today’s announcement future regular reviews of funding have been agreed with the Trust which will ensure that the needs of survivors continue to be met.

Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan, said: “I hope the announcement today reassures Thalidomide survivors that continued financial support will be available to them. Providing support with their ongoing and future health needs to enable them to maintain independence and wellbeing for as long as possible. I want to thank the Thalidomide Trust for their work in helping to oversee the grant and providing vital assistance to Thalidomide survivors.”

Deborah Jack, Executive Director of the Thalidomide Trust said: “Most of our beneficiaries are now in their 60s and the years of using their bodies in ways that were never intended has really taken its toll. Almost all of them are living with persistent pain and most are now experiencing multiple health problems.

“The costs of meeting their complex needs are significant and growing. Many of them have been really anxious about the prospect of this much-needed funding coming to an end so this is really welcome news.”

“We are really pleased that the Welsh government has recognised this by committing to lifetime financial support for our beneficiaries and also agreeing to review the level of funding regularly to ensure it is meeting their changing needs.”

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.