Contracting Hepatitis C 'a huge plight of life' says victim of infected blood scandal

ITV Border's political correspondent Tom Shedrick has the latest on the inquiry.

A victim of the infected blood scandal says contracting Hepatitis C has been "a huge plight of life" after he was infected with contaminated blood in 1986.

Bill Wright, from Dumfries, was also subsequently registered with hemophilia and now lives with liver cirrhosis.

He has been one of the lead campaigners calling for fair and faster compensation for those affected by the scandal, and has also been the Chair of Hemophilia Scotland since it was founded in 2012.

He said: "As the chairman of a charity, I've sat in the front rooms of so many people who have been affected.

"Many many people have frankly lost loved ones as a consequence of being infected with either hepatitis C or HIV.

"Those stories are really brutal and the impacts have been life changing."

Protestors gathered on Abbington Green outside parliament on Wednesday to rally MPs and put pressure on the government to ensure victims of the scandal get the compensation they deserve.

"We're looking to achieve two things today," Mr Wright said.

"The budget is of course taking place next week, we want the government to make sure that they allocate sufficient funds in order to pay compensation to everyone who's been affected and infected by the disaster.

"The second point is, we really need government to be much more transparent in terms of what it's actually doing to make the arrangements to make those compensation payments."

He continued: "Until now, they've been pretty secretive, albeit they're claiming that they're working very hard - we've seen no detail of that whatsoever.

"So we're down here to try and get some answers and to try and ensure that sufficient funds are allocated."

Campaigners outside the Infected Blood inquiry last year. Credit: PA Images

The Infected Blood Inquiry made its final recommendations on compensation for victims and their loved ones in April 2023.

Almost a year since they were published calling for a compensation body to be up and running by the end of 2023, campaigners say the government continues to drag its heels over committing to compensation payments.

"In April last year, 10 months ago, Sir Brian Langstaff said arrangements should start to be made now for compensation," Mr Wright said.

"He set out a detailed report of how that compensation should be paid - that an arms length body should be established

"There's no word whatsoever about that body being established.

"The whole point of it was that it actually involved those who had been affected in order that we could work with government to make suitable arrangements."

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