Survivors of the contaminated blood scandal have been awarded interim government payments after a 40-year battle, but thousands of parents and children of the victims have still received nothing.
Ministers have accepted the urgency of the need to make the £100,000 payments to about 3,000 surviving victims, after being warned that those mistakenly infected with HIV and hepatitis C were dying at the rate of one every four days.
But parents and children of the victims accused the government of perpetuating the scandal by failing to recognise 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 said it intends to make payments to those who have been infected 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, the prime minister, Boris Johnson, said: “While nothing can make up for the pain and suffering endured by those affected by this tragic injustice, we are taking action to do right by victims and those who have tragically lost their partners by making sure they receive these interim payments as quickly as possible.
“We will continue to stand by all those impacted by this horrific tragedy, and I want to personally pay tribute to all those who have so determinedly fought for justice.”
Source: The Guardian, 17 August 2022