Southport man whose parents and sister died from infected blood says 'Someone should go to prison'

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

A man who lost his mum, dad and sister aged just three as a result of the infected blood scandal says he believes "someone should go to prison" for the failings.

Sam Rushby became an orphan in just a year after his haemophiliac father Gary received contaminated Factor 8, a clotting agent derived from blood plasma, 30 years ago.

He had no idea it had made him HIV positive, and then unknowingly passed it to his wife Lesley and their new baby girl Abbey.

The youngster died aged just four-months-old, while her 23-year-old mother Lesley died in 1994, followed by Gary in 1995 at the age of 34. All had AIDS related conditions.

Sam said: "They knew what they were doing, they murdered my family and they murdered many more families too."

His comments come following the release of the public inquiry report into the scandal, which claimed thousands of lives, saying it was "no accident".

It found the risks were "well-known" decades before the infected blood products were used on patients in the UK.

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".

"Basically my whole family were torn away from me," Sam said. "[Dad] watched his four-month-old daughter die, then he watched his wife die and he knew he was going to die. It's just horrific."

Sam was in London with his wife Rebecca to hear the results of the inquiry into the scandal.

"Finally the truth is out," he said. "We've been saying it for years, the health service, the Government, the Doctors everybody they all knew and they were all warned that it was infected and still they carried on they didn't care and then they tried to cover it up and now the truth is out."

The inquiry was told Factor 8 was considered a wonder drug in the 1970s because it allowed haemophiliacs to inject themselves at home rather than going to hospital.

The plasma-derived product helped clotting and curbed the bleeding from minor injuries that haemophiliacs experienced.

But demand was so high that the NHS had to turn to drug companies in the United States for supplies. In the US donations were paid for, attracting those desperate for cash.

Drug addicts, sex workers and alcoholics were among those regularly giving blood, increasing the risk of that supply being infected.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has issued an apology following the publication of the report, with ministers thought to be preparing to set out the compensation package - expected to be more than £10 billion.

But Sam said it is not enough, instead believing criminal charges should be brought.

"It is not good enough the evidence has to go to the CPS, people have to be held accountable and someone should go to prison for this."

In an apology to Parliament Mr Sunak said...

"I want to make wholehearted and unequivocal apology for this terrible injustice.This is a day of shame for the British state. Today's report shows a decades-long moral failure at the heart of our national life, from the National Health Service to the Civil Service, to ministers in successive Governments, at every level that people and institutions in which we place our trust failed in the most harrowing and devastating way."