Victims of the infected blood scandal will receive £100,000 compensation each “as soon as possible”, the Government will announce.
An estimated 2,400 people died after being infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s in what has been labelled the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.
It follows a long-running inquiry into the tragedy, involving over 2,000 participants who are infected or affected. Sir Brian Langstaff, the chairman of the inquiry, last month called for compensation to be provided to victims “without delay”.
His demand was backed by three former health secretaries: Jeremy Hunt, Matt Hancock and Andy Burnham. In a letter sent to Boris Johnson on Thursday, they warned “already more than 400 people have died since the inquiry started”, with “some estimating that one infected person is dying every four days”.
Kit Malthouse, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and Steven Barclay, the health secretary, have been co-ordinating work across Government on the issue, the Sunday Times reports.
A Government source told the newspaper: “We know the thousands of people that fell victim to this scandal have suffered unimaginable pain.
“That is why on the back of Sir Brian Langstaff’s report a few weeks ago, ministers across government have been looking closely at how best to right this historic wrong.
“Given the heartbreaking position many victims find themselves in, there is a desire at the top of government to move this at pace so we can give those people clarity and assurance at the earliest opportunity.”
Su Gorman, of the campaign group Tainted Blood, said the payouts were a “landmark” but questioned why it had taken the Government more than 40 years to deliver them.
Research is still ongoing to reach estimates for the total number of surviving infected blood victims.