Thursday, 11 August, 2022
HomeMedico-LegalInquiry recommends urgent compensation for infected blood victims as death toll rises

Inquiry recommends urgent compensation for infected blood victims as death toll rises

The victims of Britain’s contaminated blood scandal should receive at least £100,000 in compensation each “without delay”, the chair of the inquiry examining the issue has recommended, after discovering 419 people had died between July 2017, when the inquiry was announced, and February this year.

With more than 4,000 surviving victims of the scandal, the compensation payment is expected to reach at least £400m, reports The Guardian.

The infected blood inquiry was established to look at the circumstances in which patients treated by the NHS in the 1970s and 1980s received infected blood and blood products. At least 2,400 people died after contracting HIV or hepatitis C as a result of the blood products and as many as 30,000 people became severely ill.

The inquiry is also investigating the impact on their families, how the authorities responded and the care and support provided.

In an open letter this month signed by groups including the Haemophilia Society and the Terrence Higgins Trust, which was hand-delivered to the Prime Minister, the signatories said 419 people had died between July and February this year, and one infected person was dying every four days.

There are four infected blood schemes in the UK, and people are eligible for support if they were infected by hepatitis C or HIV from NHS blood or blood products, or if they are the spouse, civil or long-term partner of someone infected who has died.

Des Collins, a senior partner at Collins Solicitors, which represents some of the victims, said the compensation had “been due for decades.”

Last Friday, Sir Brian Langstaff, the chair of the inquiry, recommended the level of interim compensation payments.

He said: “The practical way to make payments swiftly is to do so through the current infected blood support schemes.. I have decided to recommend that interim payments of no less than £100,000 are made to all infected people, and to all the bereaved partners currently registered with the schemes, and those who register between now and the inception of any future scheme.”

The recommendation comes after Boris Johnson was urged to immediately pay the interim amounts to those affected before more of them die. The inquiry, which began in 2018, is due to publish its final report in the middle of next year.

 

The Guardian article – Infected blood inquiry: victims should receive £100,000 each ‘without delay’ (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

UK’s NHS could cough up billions in infected blood scandal payments

 

Long-delayed inquiry into NHS contaminated blood starts at last

 

Contaminated blood victims given permission to sue UK government

 

 

MedicalBrief — our free weekly e-newsletter

We'd appeciate as much information as possible, however only an email address is required.