Rishi Sunak will testify in the Infected Blood Inquiry

Wednesday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will testify before the Infected Blood Inquiry.

The bereaved families want Mr. Sunak to embrace the compensation recommendations made by inquiry chairman Sir Brian Langstaff three months ago.

In the 1970s and 1980s, it is believed that 30,000 individuals in the United Kingdom received contaminated blood products. Some victims have received financial assistance, but not all have been compensated in full.

The investigation has recommended that the government establish a compensation body as soon as feasible, and certainly before the final report is released in the fall. The inquiry was established to investigate how thousands of patients in the United Kingdom became infected with HIV and hepatitis C nearly four decades ago, how authorities, including the government, responded, and whether a cover-up occurred.

From the mid-1970s onward, thousands of NHS patients with hemophilia and other blood disorders became gravely ill after receiving a blood transfusion or a new treatment called factor VIII or IX. At the time, the medication was imported from the United States, where it was manufactured from the aggregated blood plasma of thousands of paid donors, including prisoners and drug addicts.

If a single donor was infected with a blood-borne virus like hepatitis or HIV, the entire supply of medication could be tainted.

In what has been called the worst treatment disaster in the annals of the NHS, approximately 2,900 people died. Now, the afflicted families want Downing Street to respond to the inquiry's compensation recommendations, which some speculate could cost the government billions of pounds.

They have already sent a letter to Number 10 requesting immediate action on the payments. In his July 2022 campaign for Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak referred to the contaminated blood scandal as a "tragic injustice" and pledged to provide survivors with certainty.

Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons, has already provided testimony to the inquiry this week. She was the minister responsible as paymaster general from February 2020 to September 2021.

She stated that the Covid pandemic had been "all-consuming" but added that the government had not delayed compensation payments.

This was supported by the current paymaster general, Jeremy Quin, who, while giving evidence on Tuesday, stated that he was determined to "redress" the situation amidst outrage over concerns that compensation is being delayed because it is deemed too expensive and complex.

Hepatitis C is a virus that has flu-like symptoms and can infect the liver. Typically, modern treatments allow for recovery.

HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus, which destroys immune system cells and impairs your ability to fend off common infections and diseases. There is no cure, but effective treatments now enable patients to live a relatively normal life.

Ms. Walker told the sources that Steven's infections and the stigma associated with them had absolutely ruined his entire life and that they destroyed every opportunity he might have otherwise had.

Ms. Walker stated that, despite the impossibility of delivering proper justice, monetary compensation is the only way to assist her family, including her older children who had to watch him [Steven] suffer for the majority of his life.

Although Steven died before the investigation began, Ms. Walker says he was delighted when Theresa May announced in 2017 that a public inquiry would be conducted.