Thousands of Britons are set to receive interim compensation of £100,000 after the government accepted initial findings on the tainted blood transfusion scandal.
Campaigners welcomed the news cautiously.
Following recommendations made in a public inquiry led by Sir Brian Lanstaff, the UK Government has said: announced On August 17th, we announced that we will make payments to partners of infected and bereaved families in October 2022.
Contaminated blood scandals date back to the 1970s and 80s. It claimed thousands of lives, although estimates vary depending on how many died. For decades, people infected his NHS with contaminated blood imported from the United States.
Most of those affected were being treated for hemophilia, a genetic disorder in which a person’s blood lacks essential factors for clotting.
In the 1970s, new product factor concentrates were developed from donated blood. Britain and other countries have begun importing factor concentrates from the United States. Patients were unaware that the factor concentrates had been pooled together from the blood of high-risk groups such as prisoners and prostitutes.
As a result, 1,000 people became infected with deadly infections such as HIV and hepatitis C. Because hemophilia in women is rare, most of those who died from it were men.
The Infected Blood Investigation, established under the Theresa May administration, began operations in 2018. He has seen more than 5,000 witnesses and his next hearing is scheduled for September.
On 8 July 2021, the Paymaster General ordered Sir Robert Francis QC to consider the issue of compensation. Francis argued in March 2022 that victims should receive interim payments (pdf) because it takes too long to pay in full.
Sir Robert Francis submitted his findings to the Infected Blood Investigation on 21 July 2022.
“he [Francis] “I agree with him, making a compelling case that interim payments are now needed to alleviate suffering,” Ranstaff said.
“This is not the end of the investigation and the issue of compensation and its scoop is not resolved in this short report on interim payments,” Ranstaff added.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledged the “pain and suffering endured by those affected by this tragic injustice”.
“We are working to ensure that victims and tragically bereaved people receive these interim payments as soon as possible so they can do the right thing,” Johnson said in a government statement. ” he said.
Kit Malthaus, prime minister of the Principality of Lancaster, which runs the government’s business, said his priority is getting the money to those who deserve it as soon as possible.
“Of course, no amount of money will compensate the victims and their loved ones for the chaos they have faced, but these payments show that we are on their side and will do everything in our power to help them. I hope it helps,” Malthouse said.
Campaigners welcomed the news, but said compensation was not yet sufficient.
Des Collins, senior partner at Collins Solicitors, which works with 1,400 families of victims and bereaved families, said, “A welcome welcome to those still with us whose lives and health have been compromised by the infected blood scandal. It’s good news,” he said.
“Many of them are unable to work and are in desperate need of funds to survive. ” Collins said in a statement.
“This commitment is far from the end of the story. These are interim payments, but nothing like meaningful compensation for those who continue to suffer,” he said.
Simon Vazey contributed to this report.