Victims of Infected Blood Scandal to Receive £100,000 Compensation

Posted on: 2 mins read
Kate Sweeney

Head of Clinical Negligence

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After decades of campaigning, the government has this week announced that it will be offering £100,000 in compensation to around 4,000 victims of the infected blood scandal.

Starting in the mid-1970s, the infected blood scandal has been termed the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS. Thousands of NHS patients with blood disorders were infected with blood-borne diseases like HIV and hepatitis after being given a new treatment called Factor VIII or IX.

We now know that a minimum of 2,400 people have died as a result of receiving these treatments in the 1970s and 1980s. It is also estimated that a further 4,000 people are still living with the consequences of being treated with contaminated blood products.

As Medical Negligence Lawyers, we’ve seen first-hand how clinical errors can devastate patients and their families.

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We’re pleased that the survivors and partners of those who have died will now receive compensation. But we’re also aware that this doesn’t take into account the parents and children of people who have died as a result of the treatments.

Final recommendations on whether compensation should be opened up to a wider group of people are expected to be released next year. We’ll be monitoring the situation to see what the outcome of this is.   

If you’ve suffered medical negligence, whether it’s at a hospital or with your local GP, our Medical Negligence team could help you get compensation and support. Get in touch for initial advice.

How was the Treatment Contaminated?

In the mid-1970s, the UK was struggling to meet demand for the Factor VIII blood clotting treatment. As a result, supplies began to come in from the United States. Much of the blood plasma that was used to make the treatment came from donors including prison inmates who had sold their blood. 

Many of these donors were in high-risk groups for having blood-borne viruses. But at the time there had not yet been a diagnosis of HIV in the UK and there was very little knowledge around hepatitis.

Likely because of this lack of understanding, the plasma of up to 40,000 donors would regularly be combined to make up the treatment. This meant that if one donor was infected, it would lead to the whole batch becoming contaminated.

What Will the Compensation Cover?

This compensation is the first of its kind to be awarded to people impacted by the Factor VIII or IX treatment in the UK.

Whilst victims and their families currently receive financial support payments, the new compensation will take into account factors including loss of earnings, care costs and other “lifetime losses”.

The compensation will initially be offered to people whose health is declining as a result of contracting HIV or hepatitis from the treatment, as well as the partners of people who have died. It has not yet been expanded to other family members.

I’ve Suffered Medical Negligence – Could I Claim Compensation?

If you or a loved one has experienced medical negligence, you could be entitled to compensation.

We understand that you might feel daunted by the process of taking legal action and you may have worries about what will be involved. We can offer you a free claims assessment where we’ll listen to the details of your case and let you know what the next steps will be.

Get in touch with us today to find out more, we may be able to help you on a No Win, No Fee basis.

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