Infected Blood Inquiry: Compensation must be paid 'immediately' and extended to wider family

Parents and children of the infected blood scandal victims should be entitled to compensation, according to the chairman of the enquiry. Martin Stew has the latest

Compensation for victims of the infected blood scandal should be paid "immediately" and extended to the parents or children of a victim if they weren't married, a report has set out.

An independent inquiry has published its second interim report, in which it recommends a £100,000 payment to recognise the deaths of people "as yet unrecognised" and to help "alleviate immediate suffering".

It states payments should also be widened out to include a victim's parent, child or sibling if they didn't have a spouse - something campaigners have long been calling for.

Chair of the independent inquiry, Sir Brian Langstaff, said some family members, including parents who lost children, remain "unrecognised" and "it is time to put this right".

The £100,000 would be an interim payment until the details of full settlements are laid out.

Thousands of patients were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.

Jason Evans was four-years-old when his dad Jonathan died in 1993 after contracting both HIV and hepatitis C. The report sets out recommendations to include family members like him in the plans for compensation.

Speaking to ITV News, he said: "The biggest thing for me personally is the recognition that they were infected and they died because they were infected, and it was the fault of those who were in the decision making chairs at the hand of the state.

"That recognition is the single biggest thing in all honesty, to know that their lives mattered just as much as everyone else's."

'Their lives matters just as much as everyone else's' - families of victims who died from infected blood respond to the latest report from the inquiry

The key figures

  • More than 30,000 were infected by transfusions or treatment for bleeding disorders

  • 26,800 contracted hepatitis C - more than 1,800 died as a result

  • Around 1,350 people were infected with HIV - half of those died as a result

  • It's estimated around 3,000 people have died in total

More people were infected with hepatitis B as a result of transfusions or treatment with infected blood, but there is no data on how many victims might have died as a result.

For the first time, the report published on Wednesday sets out recommendations for victims of hepatitis B to also be included in the compensation scheme.

The inquiry was requested by former Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017 Credit: Infected Blood Inquiry/PA

The Infected Blood Inquiry was requested by former Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017, who described the scandal as "an appalling tragedy which should simply never have happened".

Giving evidence to the inquiry last year, former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said it could be seen as a "huge failing of democracy" that victims have had to wait so long for justice.

Wednesday's report refers back to recommendations in an another independent report by Sir Robert Francis KC in June 2022, which advised ministers that victims should receive interim payments of at least £100,000.

'It's time to put this right', says chair of the inquiry Sir Brian Langstaff

The government has previously stated it will wait for the full report to be published before announcing a compensation framework, but has already accepted that "wrongs were done" and failings with the initial response "caused additional suffering" for years.

Responding to the report on Wednesday, a government spokesperson said: "The infected blood scandal should never have happened. Sir Brian Langstaff’s interim report will help the UK Government and Devolved Administrations to meet our shared objective to be able to respond quickly when the Inquiry’s final report is published in the autumn. “We thank the Chair and the Inquiry team for this detailed interim report and the Government is continuing preparations for responding to the final report when it is published.”

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