The Story So Far

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  • In the 1970s and 1980s the Department of Health bought blood and blood products from the US where intravenous drug users, prostitutes and prison inmates were paid to donate blood known to carry a high risk of infection.
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The noughties

Destroyed Documents

At the beginning of the new millennium, theTelegraph reported that large numbers of haemophiliacs attempting to access their treatment records were told that they were ëmissingí or ëincompleteí.

In May 2006 it was revealed in Parliament that documents relating to contaminated blood had been destroyed in error.

Paltry amount awarded to HCV sufferers adds insult to injury

In 2003/2004 the Skipton Fund was rolled out to provide ex-gratia payments to HCV sufferers. The registrants were divided into two groups, namely, stage 1: people infected with HCV, but without diagnosis of severe liver disease, and stage 2: people with cirrhosis, liver cancer and/or liver transplant. Although more and more evidence was emerging on the damage done by HCV, other than liver damage, this was ignored. The stage 1 recipients received a sum of money equating to around £2.30 per day* since the time of infection. The ëstage 2í group received the equivalent to around £6.30 per day* since time of infection. (*Calculations based on infection in 1980, therefore figures are even less for anyone infected earlier.)

It remains a mystery as to how these figures were arrived at. Neither payment would come anywhere near to compensating for the loss of earnings experienced because of the illness, let alone the lack of life insurance and other expenses incurred when living with chronic, debilitating illness.

Following the announcement of ex-gratia payments, Lord Morris said ìEnormous cross-party backing has been given in both Houses of Parliament; and the issue of parity of treatment for HIV and hepatitis C infection, in particular, is everywhere seen not as one of Right and Left, but of right and wrong. That is why, if campaigning has to go on, I am in no doubt - nor should anyone else be in any doubt - that go on it will until right is done.î

Read the full transcript of Lord Morris' speech

The Archer Inquiry

In 2007/08, The Rt Hon Lord Archer of Sandwell QC, headed an independently funded public inquiry into the disaster.

The findings of the Inquiry were published in the Archer Report (2009). The, then Labour, government refused to implement in full, the recommendations of the Inquiry.