Relatives of victims of the infected blood scandal of Britain's National Health Service (NHS) have decided to send a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, calling for immediate action to set up a body to give full compensation payments.
The letter is due to be sent to Downing Street on Monday, with relatives and survivors saying they want action on interim payments to be made in respect of “deaths not yet recognized”.
In the letter, they have reminded Sunak that while he was running to become the Conservative Party leader last year, he said he would ensure the interim compensation payments are paid without delay.
“Survivors and their families need to have certainty now…,” the letter reads.
Jason Evans, 33, is among those who will hand in the letter. He was four years old when his father Jonathan, a 31-year-old carpenter from Coventry, died after being infected with hepatitis C and HIV.
Evans said that having to personally bring their concerns to Whitehall “totally compounds the trauma and grief” of the survivors and bereaved families who fought for an inquiry and have seen widespread recognition that compensation should be paid.
“We need action to happen now because people are dying, not just people infected but the bereaved families as well,” he added.
Evans further noted that 380 children were infected with HIV, many of those died in childhood, and their parents are now in their 80s.
“We know of people who have died only recently. People are dying without seeing any acknowledgement,” he stated.
Evans further argued that transparency has never been there from the beginning, adding that it is probably the main thing that makes it a scandal.
He also stressed that the relatives of the victims want just some clear answers rather than the line that the government gives which is `we are working at pace’.”
Thousands of NHS patients with haemophilia and other blood disorders were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s, with nearly 2,400 dying from the scandal.
An inquiry was established in 2017 into the scandal, described the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.
Inquiry chairman Sir Brian Langstaff initially recommended that victims themselves or bereaved partners can receive an interim payment of around £100,000.
The letter further noted that the government’s delay denies victims and their families any sense of tangible progress,” emphasizing that the interim payment for deaths not yet recognized is critical.
“These payments are not just about compensation, they symbolize acknowledgement and the represent initial recognition of each life lost,” it said.
The latest development comes amid complaints that the government is dragging its heels over compensation payments.
Sunak and Chancellor and former health secretary Jeremy Hunt are due to give evidence to the Infected Blood Inquiry this month.
Commons Leader and former paymaster general Penny Mordaunt will also appear on July 24, with current Paymaster General Jeremy Quin at the inquiry the following day.
The ministers will give evidence on the Government’s response to the use of infected blood and the question of compensation.
Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses: