Infected blood: What support is available for those affected and will victims get compensation?

Tens of thousands of people in the UK were infected with HIV and/or hepatitis after they were given contaminated blood and blood products between the 1970s and early 1990s. Credit: PA

Tens of thousands of people in the UK were infected with HIV and/or hepatitis after they were given contaminated blood and blood products between the 1970s and early 1990s.

The infected blood scandal which claimed thousands of lives was "no accident", the inquiry into the disaster concluded.

Labelled the "worst treatment disaster in the NHS," the infected blood scandal saw more than 30,000 people infected with HIV and Hepatitis C after being treated with contaminated blood products.

These include people who needed blood transfusions for accidents, in surgery or during childbirth, and patients with certain blood disorders who were treated with donated blood plasma or blood transfusions.

Report author Sir Brian Langstaff concluded "the chief responsibility for the failings lied with successive governments", and that they "showed little interest in finding the truth".

"Trust was betrayed": Sir Brian Langstaff

Will infected blood scandal victims get compensation?

The government is now working at pace to get an arms-length compensation body set up, having faced criticism in the past over the speed at which it responded to calls for action on compensation.

Interim compensation payments of £100,000 have been made to around 4,000 infected people or bereaved partners, following advice from the inquiry.

Ministers recently announced that these interim payments would be extended to the “estates of the deceased”.

In April 2023, Sir Brian said interim compensation should also be offered to the children and parents of those infected.

He also recommended a final compensation scheme be set up. The total cost is likely to run into billions.

The government has said it accepts the case for compensation but it would be "inappropriate" to respond before the inquiry's full report.

In April 2024, ministers agreed to support a Labour amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill.

It means a final compensation scheme must be set up within three months of the legislation becoming law.

Earlier this month, ITV News reported that some victims had been updated on the timeline for compensation, after ministers agreed to a three-month deadline to establish an official scheme.

Portraits of people who have died or been affected by the scandal are put up as campaigners met ahead of the final inquiry report. Credit: PA

What help and support is available to those affected?

The UK government make support payments to people who contracted Hepatitis C via an NHS blood transfusion or blood products before September 1991.

The scheme for those infected in England is the England Infected Blood Support Scheme and those who have not yet claimed payments can still do so.

Charities working in blood related diseases also have support groups. The Infected blood community support group run by the Hepatitis C Trust is an online group aiming to be a safe space for anyone raising concerns or questions.

The charity Haemophilia and Bleeding Disorders Counselling Association (HBDCA) was set up in in recognition of the need for tailored, psychological support for those impacted.

The Infected Blood Inquiry has brought back the trauma of very difficult times for many people, which is why the Haemophilia Society charity say they have a dedicated support team.

Every year, The Haemophilia Society also holds a special service of remembrance for those who died as a result of treatment using contaminated blood products. The next one is in October 2024.

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