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Campaigners say 82 infected blood victims have died without compensation since guidelines released

Campaigners gathered on College Green in Westminster on Wednesday to ask that money is allocated in the upcoming Budget for people affected by the scandal
Campaigners gathered on College Green in Westminster on Wednesday to ask that money is allocated in the upcoming Budget for people affected by the scandal - Aaron Chown/PA

About 82 victims of the infected blood scandal are thought to have died since guidelines for compensation were published last year, according to campaigners.

The Infected Blood Inquiry published final compensation recommendations on April 5 2023 and the final report has been delayed until May 20 of this year.

The government has insisted that payments will only be made after this report is published and a compensation scheme has been established.

But campaigners, including victims and the family and friends of deceased victims, say the delay is costing lives, at a rate of around one victim dying every four days.

Overall, it is believed that about 30,000 people were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s and more than 3,000 have died.

The Government has accepted a “moral case” for compensation, and interim payouts of £100,000 each have already been made to some victims and bereaved partners, but about 2,000 people have yet to receive these payments.

Ministers have said they are not in a position to make a final decision on further payouts, which could total billions of pounds, until they have seen the inquiry’s findings in full.

Sir Keir Starmer speaks with victims of the infected blood scandal and their relatives in in Westminster Hall on Wednesday
Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, speaks with victims of the infected blood scandal and their relatives in in Westminster Hall on Wednesday - Samuel Montgomery/PA

Richard Angell, the chief executive of Terrence Higgins Trust, said: “There is no need to wait for the final blood inquiry report for the Government to fund and legislate for compensation for those infected and affected.

“The victims of this scandal have been waiting for justice for decades and shouldn’t be made to wait any longer, with 82 having died since the inquiry published its full and final recommendations on compensation in April 2023.”

Campaigners gathered on College Green in Westminster on Wednesday to ask that money is allocated in the upcoming Budget for people affected by the scandal.

Sue Sparkes, 65, from Cardiff, said her husband Les, who was a haemophiliac and infected with HIV and hepatitis C, died in 1990.

She said campaigners want “justice” and “truth”, but also recognition through compensation for everyone, including to the families of those who do not or did not have partners.

“Sir Brian [Langstaff], our chair for the inquiry, put out [his recommendations] last April and they just won’t act on it. They keep on saying we are waiting for the report, we don’t need to wait for the report.

“[The Government] just don’t want to. They are trying their best not to pay.”

She added: “There’s an election coming up and I think they are trying to wait for more people to die, because the more people, the less money they probably have to pay out.”

Victims and campaigners protest on College Green in Westminster calling for action on compensation payments
Victims and campaigners protest on College Green in Westminster calling for action on compensation payments - Aaron Chown/PA

Stephen Flynn, the leader of the SNP in Westminster, has called on the Chancellor to set aside funds to urgently compensate the victims of the infected blood scandal in his spring Budget next Wednesday.

Mr Flynn said: “The House has spoken very clearly and given its view in terms of where the Government needs to go and what we need to see now is real tangible action.

“The Budget is obviously coming up and that affords the Chancellor the opportunity to put money in place to support those people who have so tragically been impacted by this.

“I think all of us would expect him to do that.”