Infected blood victims to get £210,000 interim compensation payment

Politics

Victims of the infected blood scandal will get £210,000 as an interim compensation payment from as early as this summer, the government has announced.

Cabinet minister John Glen told parliament the initial payment will be given to people living with the effects of contaminated blood “within 90 days, starting in the summer”.

Infected people who die between now and the payments being made will get the money sent to their estates, he added.

His announcement came the day after a report into the scandal was published following a seven-year inquiry.

More than 30,000 Britons were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C from contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s. More than 3,000 people died.

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Reaction to government’s response

Sir Brian Langstaff, chair of the inquiry, found the scandal was “not an accident” and its failures lie with “successive governments, the NHS, and blood services”.

He said the response from governments of different stripes and the NHS “compounded” victims’ suffering.

This included the “deliberate destruction of some documents” by Department of Health workers, in what Sir Brian described as a “pervasive cover-up” and “downright deception”.

“It could largely, though not entirely, have been avoided. And I report that it should have been,” he said, adding the “scale of what happened is horrifying” for victims and their families.

Sir Brian Langstaff
Image:
Sir Brian Langstaff

Victims and their families welcomed the report following decades of not being believed.

Rishi Sunak offered a “wholehearted and unequivocal” apology to the victims following the report’s publication, saying it was a “day of shame for the British state”.

He promised compensation would be given to victims and those affected, adding: “Whatever it costs to deliver this scheme, we will pay it.”


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