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

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Kate Sweeney

Head of Clinical Negligence

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After decades of campaigning, the government announced in October 2022 that it will be offering £100,000 in compensation to around 4,000 victims of the infected blood scandal.

What was 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. 4,689 NHS patients with haemophilia and other bleeding disorders were infected with blood-borne diseases like HIV and hepatitis after being given a new treatment called Factor VIII or IX.  Some of those unintentionally infected their partners, as they were unaware of their infected blood at the time.

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.

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, and that this can never replace the lives that have been lost

Final recommendations on whether compensation should be opened up to a wider group of people are expected to be released this 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.

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How was the Treatment Contaminated?

In the mid-1970s, the UK was struggling to meet the demand for the Factor VIII blood clotting treatment – and ss 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 hoping that they would  having money on their release.

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.

How Did Contaminated Blood Get Given to Patients?

This was usually through blood transfusions. A blood transfusion can be a life-saving procedure for someone who has suffered major blood loss following an accident, surgery or childbirth, or for people with conditions like haemophilia or leukaemia. A person requiring a blood transfusion has often already experienced a lot of pain and suffering, and while blood transfusions are generally very safe, if something goes wrong during the process, they may have suffered further harm which could have been avoided. If you or your loved one experienced blood transfusion negligence, we could help you make a claim for compensation.

Donated blood goes through rigorous testing and handling to check it is uncontaminated and compatible with the person’s blood type. Despite this, there are some cases where mistakes and oversights are made with blood transfusions – whether this is before the blood arrives at a hospital, or in the follow-up to the transfusion itself.

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.

Prime minister at the time, Boris Johnson said of the compensation news, "While nothing can make up for the pain and suffering endured by those affected by this tragic injustice, we are taking action to do right by victims and those who have lost their partners."

An independent study commissioned by the government, published in 2021, said victims should eventually be compensated for physical and social injury, the stigma of the disease, the impact on family and work life, and the cost of care.

What Support is Available for Victims of Contaminated Blood Transfusions?

The Infected Blood Inquiry started in 2018 and has reviewed thousands of documents and testimonies from patients. It has been revealed that, in the 1970s and 80s, around 1,250 people with haemophilia and other bleeding disorders contracted HIV and tragically about half of this group later died from an AIDS-related illness.

A further 30,000 NHS patients are thought to have contracted Hepatitis C - through the same contaminated treatment, or a blood transfusion after surgery or childbirth. It is estimated around 2,050 of these people later died of liver failure or cancer caused by this contamination.

This has been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS and many of those who were infected had to give up their jobs and live on benefits because of their serious health problems.

Although the inquiry is yet to formally conclude, many victims and loved ones of those who suffered from contaminated blood transfusions have been able to access ‘interim payments’ of compensation.

As well as accessing government compensation schemes, it’s possible for you to make a ‘civil claim’ with one of our Medical Negligence lawyers, whether you have been affected by contaminated blood or any other type of medical negligence involving a blood transfusion.

For many people, the recognition and sense of justice compensation brings is the most important part of making a Medical Negligence claim.

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. Just call us on 0808 239 6043, and let us help you.


Haemophilia Society UK. (n.d.). The Contaminated Blood Scandal. Retrieved from

NHS. (n.d.). Haemophilia. Retrieved from

Sky News. (n.d.). Infected blood victims to be offered £100,000 in government compensation. Retrieved from

NHS Forth Valley. (n.d.). Blood-Borne Viruses. Retrieved from

BBC News. (n.d.). Infected blood scandal: Judge-led inquiry into thousands of deaths begins. Retrieved from

Hemophilia Federation of America. (n.d.). Emicizumab (Hemlibra). Retrieved from

UK Government. (n.d.). Infected Blood Compensation Framework Study: Consultation on Terms of Reference. Retrieved from

Infected Blood Inquiry. (n.d.). Infected Blood Inquiry. Retrieved from

BBC News. (n.d.). Infected blood scandal: NHS chief admits 'shameful' failure. Retrieved from

Kate Sweeney

Head of Clinical Negligence

Areas of Expertise:
Medical Negligence

Kate has extensive experience both in leadership and in the field of Personal Injury. She has 10 years of experience in Clinical Negligence where she handled a wide range of client files as well as managing and growing the team. For the last 16 years, Kate has worked in the area of Personal Injury, leading the team alongside managing a small caseload.

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