A full public inquiry into the infected blood scandal has started which will aim to provide victims and their families answers which some have been waiting for over three decades.
It is considered one of the biggest treatment disasters in the history of the NHS, however, there has only been one privately funded inquiry which held no power to compel witnesses to attend. This is in contrast to other nations where individuals have been infected with HIV and hepatitis C through their health systems have been paid compensation.
The scandal concerns a clotting agent, Factor VIII, made from donated blood, some of which were infected with HIV or Hepatitis C coming from paid foreign donors including prisoners.
More substantial financial support has been requested by victims and a number of campaign groups. It was announced hours before the first inquiry by Westminster that total annual funding would be increased from £46 million to £75 million for recipients in England. However, many of those involved considered that it was not enough with no change to unpopular means-testing and no realistic demonstration that there could be equal payments across the UK.
Another source of redress would be compensation claims which could involve significant sums of money. The viability of such claims could depend on the findings of the infected blood inquiry and the extent of the government’s culpability.
If you would like further advice in connection with the matters raised in this article then please contact Mr McCusker on 0800 731 2852 or 02476 229 582.