"Our last chance at justice," says Portsmouth woman as Blood Inquiry outcome looms

  • ITV Meridian reporter Christine Alsford has been speaking to Jackie Britton ahead of the Blood Inquiry outcome

A woman from Portsmouth who was given infected blood in the 1980s says the outcome of next week's Public Inquiry is, for many, a "last chance at justice."

Jackie Britton was infected with Hepatitis C from a transfusion following the birth of her daughter in 1983. It has led to liver damage and worsening health.

"It's been traumatic in so many different ways," she said.

"Every time you go for your six month scans you think 'Will I be the next one with the death sentence?'

"For those that have campaigned for 30 years and existed instead of living their lives, it's disgusting.

"This inquiry was really important for many of us. It's our last chance at justice."

Jackie Britton contracted Hepatitis C from a blood transfusion after childbirth Credit: Family photograph

During the 70s and 80s, more than 30,000 people in the UK were given treatments infected with HIV and Hepatitis C.

In total, more than 3,000 patients are believed to have died.

The Infected Blood Inquiry has taken five years to complete and cost £130 million.

The chairman, Sir Brian Langstaff is due to release his final report next week.

Jackie was a key witness at the inquiry and says at the she felt heard and listened to for the first time.

Sir Brian Langstaff, chair of the Infected Blood Inquiry

But she says the battle for accountability and compensation from the government stretching over decades has made a terrible situation worse.

"I don't think they could have handled a case of so many people so badly if they'd tried."

"The trauma has been compounded by the length of time it has taken for us to be listened to - by us having to tell our stories over and over again - and we do it because our dead have no voices left, so we have to speak for them."

"The evidence is out there now, and they can no longer deny, deny, deny, and it will cost them (the government). But then it's cost us our lives. So what's money?"

The campaign on infected blood products has lasted decades

Jackie says whatever the outcome of the Infected Blood Inquiry she will need to stop campaigning.

"I need to be able to know that if anything happens to me, the funds are there to pay for care for my daughter. And I want to live a little bit of my life

"For my own sanity l have to walk away at the end of this. I haven't got the strength, the stamina or the time to fight any more."

A government spokesperson said: “This was an appalling tragedy, and our thoughts remain with all those impacted.

“We are clear that justice needs to be delivered for the victims and have already accepted the moral case for compensation.

“This covers a set of extremely complex issues, and it is right we fully consider the needs of the community and the far-reaching impact that this scandal has had on their lives.

"The Government will provide an update to Parliament on next steps through an oral statement within 25 sitting days of the Inquiry’s final report being published."

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