£100,000 should go to infected blood victims and bereaved colleagues – inquiry head

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The chairman of the inquiry into the tragedy has called for at least £100,000 to be paid to all victims and bereaved relatives across the UK.

In a letter to Paymaster General Michael Ellis on Friday, Sir Brian Langstaff said compensation must be provided “without delay”.

The chairman said he made the recommendation in light of an inquiry hearing evidence of “deep physical and mental suffering” caused by the scandal.

The inquiry was set up to examine how thousands of patients in the UK were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.

Around 2,400 people died in what has been described as the worst medical disaster in the history of the NHS.

In the letter, which accompanies an interim report on compassionate payments, Sir Brian said: “Having considered the submissions and considered the evidence, the inquiry found deep physical and mental suffering from different places, different backgrounds. heard about. Under various personal circumstances, I felt it right that I should make this report.”

He added that compensation “should be paid to all affected persons and all bereaved partners who are currently registered on UK affected blood support schemes, and to those who register between now and the start of any future scheme”. We do,” he added.

There are 2,007 primary participants in the inquiry who are affected or affected, but it is not known whether all of these individuals will be eligible for compensation.

Research is still ongoing to arrive at an estimate of the total number of surviving blood victims.

We look forward to the day when all the victims of this scandal are properly compensated for their suffering and those whose decisions cost countless innocent lives.

Sir Brian apologized to those who did not fall into either of the two categories of people he recommended, but said the inquiry was ongoing and the question of compassionate payments was open.

“I know this will be frustrating for some of you who don’t fit into either category and I apologize for that,” he said.

The government does not have to accept their proposal, but in 2021 Matt Hancock said it would “certainly” pay compensation if the inquiry recommended it.

The then health secretary told the inquiry that the government had a “moral responsibility” to address the impact of the scandal.

A government spokesman said it would consider the former High Court judge’s report “with the utmost urgency” and respond “as soon as possible”.

“The Government is grateful to Sir Brian Langstaff for his interim report on interim compensation for victims of contaminated blood,” the spokesman said.

“We recognize how important this will be to victims and affected people across the UK, and can confirm that the Government will consider Sir Brian’s report and Sir Robert Francis QC’s recommendations with the utmost urgency. , and will respond as soon as possible.”

I ask the disaffected to remember that the work of this inquiry is not over, and the question of compensation, and its scope, is not resolved in this brief interim payments report.

Des Collins, senior partner at Collins Solicitors, who are representing families affected by the scandal, said the report was a “welcome development” but compensation was long overdue.

“These immediate interim payments for some of the most vulnerable finally provide some financial compensation for those who have been affected for decades,” he said.

“Whilst coming too late for the thousands of people who have tragically died in the intervening years since developing an infection, this is a welcome development for some of those who have yet to experience this treatable failure. are living with the terrible effects of.”