Victims of Infected Blood Scandal Denied Date for Compensation

A “moral case” for compensation to be paid

Widely recognised as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS, the infected blood scandal has affected tens of thousands of people who were injected with contaminated blood in the 1970s and 80s.

Those who were directly impacted and suffered a deterioration in their health received an interim payment of £100,000 earlier this year. But there has not yet been confirmation of when the remainder of the compensation will be paid out.

In a Commons statement made this week, the paymaster general Jeremy Quin said he recognised the “moral case for the payment of compensation”, but he could not commit to a timetable for its distribution.

Why having a timetable in place is so important

It’s estimated that 26,800 people were infected between 1970 and 1991 after being given contaminated blood transfusions. Many of those people are now living with hepatitis C or HIV, and are suffering a deterioration in their health as a result.

Labour spokesperson Florence Eshalomi has spoken about the importance of making compensation payments quickly. She reminded MPs of the stark reality that while we await conclusions from the government, “one person dies every four days”.

She followed this up by saying: “Every day that we delay this compensation is justice denied to these people.”

In response to requests for a confirmed payment timetable, the paymaster general said he appreciates that “time is of the essence”. But he also stated that he needs to make sure the scheme is “as user friendly, supportive and as free of stress as possible” before rolling it out.

Family members denied justice

There is also pressure on the government to confirm whether they’ll be extending compensation payments to the family members of those who have died as a result of developing HIV or hepatitis C.

Up until now, interim payments of compensation have only been paid to the partners of the deceased. There are still bereaved parents, siblings and other family members who are yet to see any compensation for the loss of their loved ones.

After being asked if he supported the interim scheme being extended to family members, the paymaster general said that this was an area of “deep complexity” and that he would await recommendations from the head of the public inquiry.

Number of deaths may be higher than first thought

In September of this year, a study revealed that at least 1,820 people had died after being treated with contaminated blood between 1970 and 1991. But it was also stated that the number could be as high as 3,320.

These figures only emphasise the importance of compensation being paid out quickly to those who are suffering with deteriorating health as a result of developing a blood-borne disease.

If you or a loved one has been affected by a blood transfusion error, our expert medical negligence solicitors may be able to help you.

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