'Compensation Rates Should Not Be Based on the Current Economic Climate but on Morality and Justice for the Victims and Their Families' Widow Critical over Government Pay Outs

The Journal (Newcastle, England), October 15, 2010 | Go to article overview

'Compensation Rates Should Not Be Based on the Current Economic Climate but on Morality and Justice for the Victims and Their Families' Widow Critical over Government Pay Outs


Byline: Helen Rae

AWIDOW who was instrumental in securing an inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal has hit out at Government for refusing to give higher compensation payments to those affected by the tragedy. Hundreds of people contaminated with infected blood will not receive more money to match those in the Irish Republic, Ministers have announced.

In April, the High Court ordered a review of a decision not to implement fully the recommendations of an independent inquiry carried out into the scandal. Lord Archer's report called for an overhaul of pay outs to those who contracted HIV and hepatitis through contaminated blood transfusions in the 1970s and 1980s, recommending payments in the UK matched those in Ireland.

But yesterday, public health minister Anne Milton rejected calls to match those payments but said she would look again at people infected with hepatitis C. Carol Grayson, of Jesmond, Newcastle, lost her haemophiliac husband Peter Longstaff in 2005 after he contracted HIV and hepatitis C from infected NHS blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.

Ms Grayson, a former nurse has constantly campaigned for compensation for victims of infected NHS blood transfusions.

Last night she said: "I feel very angry that Government is still resisting the full implementation of Lord Archer's recommendations. "People who have been affected by the contaminated blood should not have to go cap in hand to trusts to get more money.

"We do not want to be begging for a few pound here and there - we should be given the same compensation payments as those in Ireland. …

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