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Stirling MP Backs Compensation Campaign for Infected Blood Scandal Victims

Published:

Categories: Health, UK Government (Westminster)

The Sunday Times Amongst Groups Pushing for Justice

Local Stirling MP Alyn Smith has reiterated his support for victims of the infected blood scandal, backing a campaign from The Sunday Times for a full and fair settlement without delay upon the conclusion of the inquiry.

Interim payments of £100,000 to each of the 4,000 surviving victims and bereaved partners have already been agreed by the Government, yet it has so far resisted setting up a full scheme until the infected blood inquiry had concluded – despite the Chair Sir Brian Langstaff calling for full compensation immediately.

Studies estimate up to 30,000 people were given contaminated blood products in the UK, throughout the 1970s-80s. More than 3,000 died after NHS blood transfusions or treatment made with contaminated blood resulted in the spread of HIV or Hepatitis C in recipients. It is estimated one person affected by the scandal dies every four days.

The Times reports senior doctors working in UK hospitals and medical centres had been warned that the infected products — factor VIII — were dangerous but deliberately administered the experimental treatments on “virgin haemophiliacs” to test whether they were safe. The practice is expected to be confirmed by a public inquiry due to report within weeks.

The campaign calls for:

  1. Lump-sum payments and ongoing support for infected victims
  2. Bereaved parents and children made eligible for compensation
  3. Compensation paid now by a judge-led independent body
  4. An official apology

Alyn Smith MP said:

‘This scandal has engulfed the lives of countless people, and it’s only right that they and their bereaved loved ones are compensated. The UK Government should stop trying to fight compensation efforts and instead officially apologise and work with victims and charities to begin making right this generational wrong. 

‘As we’ve seen over the years, Westminster will continue to shirk responsibility, dodge scrutiny and swerve efforts for justice in these instances of institutional failure. My sympathies and solidarity go to the victims, their loved ones, as well as The Sunday Times and other campaigners in seeking fair compensation, justice and an apology for this appalling chapter in UK medical history.’

Notes:
The Sunday Times campaign