Tainted Blood Scandal Survivors Receive Interim Payments |  Tainted Blood Scandal

Tainted Blood Scandal Survivors Receive Interim Payments | Tainted Blood Scandal

Tainted Blood Scandal Survivors Receive Interim Payments |  Tainted Blood Scandal

Survivors of the tainted blood scandal have received interim payments from the government after a 40-year battle, but thousands of parents and children of the victims have still not received anything.

Ministers have accepted the urgency of the need to make the £100,000 payments to around 3,000 surviving victims, after being warned that people mistakenly infected with HIV and hepatitis C were dying at the rate of a every four days.

But parents and children of victims have accused the government of perpetuating the scandal by failing to acknowledge their own trauma and loss in today’s announcement.

Contaminated blood products administered in the 1970s and 1980s to up to 6,000 people have already led to the deaths of more than 2,400 people in the biggest treatment scandal in NHS history.

The government has said it aims to make payments to infected people and bereaved partners in England by the end of October. The same payments will be made in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Announcing the plan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “While nothing can compensate for the pain and suffering endured by those affected by this tragic injustice, we are taking action to do good for the victims and those who have tragically lost their partners, ensuring that they receive these interim payments as quickly as possible.

“We will continue to support all those affected by this horrific tragedy, and I want to personally pay tribute to all those who fought so steadfastly for justice.”

The interim payments were recommended to help the remaining survivors “settle their affairs before they die” by Sir Robert Francis as part of his March report on how to compensate victims and their families.

Survivors and their families will have to await the conclusion of the current tainted blood investigation for the implementation of a comprehensive compensation scheme, as recommended by Francis.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Kit Malthouse, said: “These interim payments will begin the process of securing that certainty. My priority is to get the money to these people as quickly as possible.

Inquiry chairman Sir Brian Langstaff last month called for payments of at least £100,000 to be made ‘without delay’.

The new lump sum will be paid through the existing financial support schemes for survivors and bereaved partners set up in 2017 in England and the devolved administrations. But these schemes exclude the parents, siblings and children of the victims.

Earlier this month, the Inquiry wrote to these families, advising them they would be away for now because ‘the practical way to make payments quickly is to do so through current support schemes’ .

An email from the Deputy Secretary of the Inquiry urged the families to be patient. He said: “It is difficult to ask people who have suffered a painful loss and have waited so long to wait any longer, but try to keep in mind that this recommendation is not the end of the work of the investigation and that the issue of compensation has not been resolved in the interim payment investigation report.

Des Collins, a senior associate with Collins Solicitors, which represents 1,500 of the victims, said: “We will continue to press the government until all rights holders are fully compensated for the loved ones they have lost. .”

He added: “We look forward to clarification from the Government in the coming days on how and when the payments will be processed and, more generally, whether the rest of Sir Robert Francis QC’s recommendations should be accepted and full compensation paid to all. who are entitled to it, including the bereaved and the property of the deceased.

Survivors welcomed the money as the government’s first admission of guilt, but called for the program to be expanded.

Richard Warwick, 57, from Scarborough, was infected with HIV and Hepatitis C through tainted treatments given to him while a student at Treloar College, a specialist haemophilia care school. He told the inquest that of the 89 pupils infected at the school, he is one of only 16 survivors.

Speaking to the Guardian, he said: ‘This is just the start of the road to getting meaningful compensation. It is absolutely shameful that it took the government so long to admit that it had done something wrong. And I am deeply saddened that parents who have lost their children and children who have lost their parents are not included in the payment system. It’s so unfair.”

Richard Warwick, pictured aged 11, contracted Hepatitis C and HIV at Treloar College after receiving contaminated blood products.
Richard Warwick, pictured aged 11, contracted Hepatitis C and HIV at Treloar College after receiving contaminated blood products. Photo: provided

He accused the government of pinching a penny. “They waited as long as they could simply because the more people die the less they will have to pay in the end, so the scandal continues.”

He added: “No amount of money will bring our lives back. I was unable to progress in a meaningful career. I couldn’t get a mortgage or life insurance. And we lost our family. – our only child was fired because of the risk of contracting HIV and I spent countless years in the hospital.

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