Ex-Health Secretaries Call for Immediate Payouts to UK Blood Scandal Victims | Infected blood scandal

Three former health secretaries have called on the British government to immediately compensate victims of the contaminated blood scandal.

The chairman of the contaminated blood inquiry on Friday called for the victims and their families to be paid “promptly” after recommending the amount of interim compensation. Sir Brian Langstaff said infected people and relatives should receive “payments of not less than £100,000”.

Des Collins, a senior partner at Collins Solicitors, who represents some of the victims, said he would step up pressure on the government on Monday, after Boris Johnson was urged to pay the interim sums immediately to those affected and before more was sent to them. die. The recommendation for immediate payments was supported by former health secretaries Jeremy Hunt, Matt Hancock and Andy Burnham.

At least 2,400 people died after contracting HIV or hepatitis C as a result of receiving infected blood from the NHS in the 1970s and 1980s, and as many as 30,000 became seriously ill. The scandal has been labeled the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

An open letter to the prime minister this month, signed by organizations such as the Haemophilia Society and the Terrence Higgins Trust, said 419 people had died between July 2017, when the investigation was announced, and February this year. It was reported that one infected person died every four days.

Ros Cooper, who was infected with hepatitis C after receiving contaminated blood products as a child, described the news of the interim advice as an “extraordinary development”. Cooper told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I think it’s testament to how much has been discovered that would support this request.”

Cooper, who started taking blood clotting factor products when she was less than six months old, said being infected with hepatitis C made her unable to work. “It’s been the defining factor in my life ever since I found out I got it as a teenager,” Cooper said. She said she’d had mental health issues and fatigue: “The mental side effects of being told you’re going to die in your 20s have been huge.”

She added that it had been “exacerbated” by having to “fight since then, to try and get some degree of recognition of justice from successive governments”.

Hunt echoed Collins, calling for payments to be made “immediately” to all victims and next of kin. When he appeared on the Today program, he called on ministers to act before more victims fell.

“I would urge ministers to recognize that time is of the essence and just wait a few months for, say, the leadership campaign to be resolved and the new prime minister to make the decision, meaning a few more people are likely to have died. ‘, he said.

“We have to do it right away. We’ve waited way too long. Successive governments, of which I was a part, have not acted as quickly as they should have and we must recognize this as a terrible, terrible injustice.”

Hancock said the government had a “moral duty” to compensate the victims of the scandal and said he had “confidence” that this would happen. Burnham, a former health minister and now mayor of Greater Manchester, said there may be a case for corporate manslaughter charges.

“,”caption”:”Sign up to First Edition, our free daily newsletter – every weekday morning at 7am BST”,”isTracking”:false,”isMainMedia”:false,”source”:”The Guardian”,”sourceDomain”:”theguardian.com”}”>

Sign up for First Edition, our free daily newsletter – every weekday morning at 7am BST

The Cabinet Office said on Saturday it would respond “with the utmost urgency” to recommendations for compensation and that a copy of the investigative report would be presented to MPs “as soon as parliament meets again” – in September.

A spokesman said: “The government is grateful to Sir Brian Langstaff for his interim report on interim compensation for victims of contaminated blood.

“We recognize how important this will be for people infected and affected across the UK and can confirm that the Government will consider Sir Brian’s report and Sir Robert Francis QC’s recommendations with the utmost urgency and will act as soon as possible. react. A copy of the report will be placed in the house as soon as parliament meets again.”

Leave a Comment