Contaminated blood victims to sue the government

Published: Thursday 26th March 2015 by KCFM

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In the wake of a report they’re calling a whitewash, victims of the NHS contaminated blood scandal say they’re taking legal action against the government.

Yesterday, the Penrose Report into contaminated blood products in Scotland was published.

In the 1970s and 1980s, thousands of people across the UK were infected with diseases like HIV and hepatitis, because they were given blood transfusions and treatments that were contaminated.

Recently, those affected have even been warned that they might have been infected with deadly prions, which cause Variant CJD, otherwise known as Mad Cow Disease.

Victims of the scandal say the Report’s findings – that nothing more could have been done to prevent the scandal, and that people who had blood transfusions in Scotland before 1991 should be tested for hepatitis C – are little more than a whitewash.

After the report was published, Prime Minister David Cameron apologised to victims in Parliament, and promised a £25 million fund to help them.

Glenn Wilkinson, from Hull, was contaminated with hepatitis C by a contaminated blood product to treat his haemophilia. He says the report, and the money Mr Cameron’s promised, aren’t nearly enough. He says the government’s unwillingness to listen to victims – and in particular to fix the disparity in support offered to victims suffering from different conditions – has left them with no option but to sue. Mr Wilkinson was at yesterday’s report announcement:

“People were crying, people were shouting ‘whitewash’. The room was absolutely packed, and people found it absolutely shocking. They expected a lot more than this. You’re talking about people who’ve been infected with some of the most horrendous pathogens known to man – HIV, hepatitis C.”

“We’ve actually instigated legal action now, against the Department of Health. We’re going to push on full with that now, because obviously it’s only legal action the government understands. That was made abundantly clear to us as we listened to this outrage of a report.”

“I felt so sickened and shocked by the contents of this report, that I actually brought a copy out and burnt it on the pavement. Families have been left devastated, and the community have been made so angry. People are absolutely devastated.”

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Published: Thursday 26th March 2015 by KCFM

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