Blood scandal widow: 'We feel grief and anger over the lies that have been told for decades'

  • As the report into the infected blood scandal is released Granada Reports takes a look at what it said and its repercussions

A woman widowed when her husband died after being given infected blood says she finally feels "heard" but "overwhelmed" as the report into the scandal is released.

Ray Walmsley, from Liverpool, died at the age of 53 after contracting Hepatitis C from a blood transfusion

His wife Louise Walmsley and sister Karen Deasy spoke about their relief at finally being heard.

Louise said: "We feel grief for Ray, we feel anger over the cover-up and the lies that have been told for decades and decades, we feel relief because Sir Brian has heard us and he details in the report the horrendous way Ray and others were treated."

The long-awaited report released on Monday revealed the risks were "well-known" decades before the infected blood products were used on patients in the UK.

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.

Nicola Leahey from Chorley is a survivor of the scandal who has also welcomed the final report, saying "at long last we have seen the failures in black and white".

Nicola contracted Hepatitis C from an infected blood transfusion in the 1980's Credit: ITV News

Nicola contracted Hepatitis C from an infected blood transfusion in the 1980s, but she was not properly diagnosed until 2009.

Nicola said: "I had flu like symptoms and the Doctors blamed it on that I had a young family and three children under five, I was struck off one of the doctors lists for being a hypochondriac.

"Finally I got another GP and demanded more blood tests and found out I had Hepatitis C."

Nicola was one of the many campaigners in London to hear the results of the report. "At long last we have got to the end of this," she said.

"It is a very good, evidence based detailed report, everything has come out that we have listened to in the inquiry, the cover up and not accepting the truth and we've seen it in black and white now, the failures."

It is expected the government will lay out their plans on how they will compensate victims on Tuesday in Parliament.

The cost of compensation is expected to be around £10 billion.

Nicola said: "It isn't all about money but it is compensation for everybody, after the wait it is something that we deserve."

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to issue an apology following the publication of the report on Monday.

A Government spokesman said: "This was an appalling tragedy that never should have happened.

"We are clear that justice needs to be done and swiftly, which is why have acted in amending the Victims and Prisoners Bill."

"This includes establishing a new body to deliver an Infected Blood Compensation Scheme, confirming the Government will make the required regulations for it within three months of Royal Assent, and that it will have all the funding needed to deliver compensation once they have identified the victims and assessed claims."

"In addition, we have included a statutory duty to provide additional interim payments to the estates of deceased infected people."

"We will continue to listen carefully to the community as we address this dreadful scandal."

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