A House of Commons vote forcing the government to speed up compensation for victims of the infected blood scandal has been described as a “good outcome” by the solicitor for 1,500 of them.
People with haemophilia – including children at Treloar’s in Alton, where the NHS ran a clinic – were infected with HIV and hepatitis from contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.
Sir Brian Langstaff’s inquiry recommended interim compensation payments of £100,000 to all affected but the government wants to wait for his final report in March.
Des Collins, senior partner of Collins Solicitors, said: “The government has finally been forced to agree to act – both to deliver on establishing a body to oversee proper compensation for victims and their families, and to respond swiftly to the much-anticipated final report.”
Treloar’s victim Gary Webster said: “For years we were going around thinking no-one believed us but now we have got the evidence. We are pleased but we are not getting carried away with it all. It’s still a long way off – probably another year before it’s all settled, which is too long for a lot of people I’m afraid.”
East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds said: “The infected blood scandal is truly the most appalling scandal, that continued over many years, and there have been so many tragedies. It should never have taken this long, over decades, to have a full inquiry. We need to properly compensate victims and their loved ones.
“Following the interim payments scheme last year, the government position was that, further to that, it was right to receive the full report and respond to the full set of recommendations.
“The government had committed to tabling an amendment to set out the legal framework and timescales of establishing the compensation scheme, and I understand the immediate next steps will be set out soon.”