'My Dad fought so hard for a day like today': Justice for son of infected blood victim

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

The son of an infected blood scandal campaigner who spent his life demanding answers says the conclusion of an inquiry is "justice" for his father.

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.

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.

Peter Mossman, from Altrincham, was being treated for the blood condition haemophilia, when he was infected while in his 40s.

He died in 2021, aged 78, after spending decades demanding justice for victims affected by the infected blood scandal.

Peter's life completely changed after being diagnosed with hepatitis C. Credit: MEN Media

Since then, his son Gareth Mossman has taken up the fight.

After reading the findings from the public inquiry, Gareth said: "This is justice, the fact that this has all been brought to light - that is the justice my Dad has always wanted.

"If I could have him back for one day, it would be today. He fought so hard for 35 years for a day like today, and him and so many thousands of people didn’t get to see that justice."

The inquiry confirmed his father's suffering was "avoidable" and covered-up by the NHS and government.

The report also found that the risks around the blood products were known about decades before most patients were treated.

Gareth said: "It makes me so angry, not only did they know the products were at high risk of infection, they covered it up.

"I’m sure if people knew of the risks at the time, they probably wouldn’t have had them and all of this could have been stopped."

Gareth says this report is what his father spent decades fighting for.

However, Gareth wishes it had not taken decades of campaigning for the scandal to come to light.

He said: "There's still a little bit of anger that this went on for so long. This isn’t something the inquiry has just uncovered, this has been around for decades.

"You’ve got to look at the successive governments who’ve pushed this back. They’ve lied and they’ve lied, and it isn’t just this Government obviously.

"Labour and Conservative governments in the last 30 or 40 years have continued to hide this.

"It shouldn’t have taken this long. It shouldn’t have happened in the first place and it shouldn’t have taken this long."

Gareth says the next priority should be getting compensation to victims, many of whom have had to stop working due to their illnesses.

Gareth said: "The money isn’t going to bring people back, but it is an acknowledgement. These people need to be paid out as soon as possible."

But for now, Gareth says the report provides him with some closure.

He said: "Being able to get that little bit of closure, to be able to say ’you know what Dad, you were right and well done'. That's emotional.

"My Dad always knew this day would come, he just didn’t get to see it."

Mr Sunak is expected to issue an apology following the publication of the report on Monday, with ministers thought to be preparing to set out the compensation package - expected to be more than #10 billion - on Tuesday.

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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