Guernsey man given infected blood as a child wants formal apology from UK Government

  • ITV Channel reporter Kate Prout speaks to Guernsey man Ian Walden who was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 1994

A patient who received infected blood as a child is calling on the British Government to formally apologise.

Ian Walden from Guernsey is one of an estimated 30,000 people treated with contaminated blood across the British Isles between 1970 and the early 1990s.

He was given infected blood plasma both on the island and in the United Kingdom.

Ian says: "They knew there was a problem with it, it's been well documented in the infected blood inquiry that they knew there was a risk but they carried on giving it to children."

Ian faced a difficult childhood having inherited haemophilia, a disorder where blood does not clot properly.

He explains: "I missed a lot of school, was teased a lot, called a 'bleeder'. People would hit me just to see how quickly I bruised.

"I couldn't do sports, metalwork or anything considered dangerous."

Ian says he was bullied as a child for his haemophilia and faced constant medication. Credit: Ian Walden

Ian took regular medication and had hours of blood plasma transfusions.

Then his treatment changed to a drug imported from the United States in the 1970s and 1980s known as 'Factor 8' which was infected with HIV and Hepatitis.

He was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 1994 and says the treatment for this caused burning joints and hair loss.

Ian's wife Angela Walden explains how the condition affected their family life: "He couldn't help it at the time and we didn't know the medication was causing the mood changes.

"Sometimes it was like walking on eggshells. If the children were playing up he just didn't have the patience and he'd have to walk off and calm down."

In response, the British Government says: "This was an appalling tragedy, and our thoughts remain with all those impacted.

"We will continue to listen carefully to those infected and affected about how we address this dreadful scandal."

Guernsey's Health President, Deputy Al Brouard, explains they are aware of a "small number, between five and ten people" who may be affected locally.

He adds: "The UK Government is working on a compensation scheme and there is a Bill before the UK Parliament which now covers this issue.

"Currently, the focus of the Committee is working to ensure that affected people receive the support they need and any compensation that might be awarded to them by the UK Government in due course.

"Many people infected with bloodborne viruses (mainly Hepatitis C) through contaminated blood or blood products have been referred to the Orchard Centre for treatment."

Results from a four-year UK inquiry into the infected blood scandal are expected on Monday 20 May.

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