Call for government to give fair compensation

Leigh Day call for compensation scheme to apply to all who received contaminated blood

Checking blood bag

As the law firm representing victims of what has been described as ‘the worst treatment disaster in the history of the National Health Service’, we welcome media reports that the Government will make an official apology to former patients who received contaminated blood and subsequently contracted Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), during the Seventies and Eighties.

However, we have joined our clients in calling for the existing compensation scheme to be revised after claims that it unlawfully discriminates by paying out based on the type of virus contracted from contaminated blood and not on how seriously the patient has suffered.

Official Apology

According to media reports, the official apology later today will follow the publication of the Penrose report, which was commissioned by the Scottish Parliament and will have far reaching consequences for both the UK and Scottish Governments.

Rosa Curling, a solicitor at Leigh Day, said “The payment scheme put in place by this and previous governments has added insult to the injury, we believe it is unlawful as it unjustifiably discriminates against some victims in favour of others, depending solely on the type of medical condition rather than the devastating effects of the contaminated blood”.

We act for a large number of individuals who received contaminated blood and subsequently contracted HCV. These individuals were paid far less than victims in the same scandal who contracted HIV.

Ms Curling from the human rights team at Leigh Day added:

“Mr Cameron should not only apologise for the wrongs of the past but also the continuance of those wrongs in the present.

“He should give a firm commitment on behalf of the government that all sufferers from contaminated blood will receive fair compensation on the basis of the seriousness of their infection”.

Legal Proceedings

Leigh Day started legal proceedings against the Department of Health earlier this year, calling for a review of the existing compensation schemes set up by the English government.

Three men are currently challenging the lawfulness of the existing payment schemes on the basis that it discriminates against them as HCV sufferers.

The men have demanded a meeting with Department of Health to discuss their claim and to obtain assurances that any remodelled payment scheme will give individuals fair compensation based on the seriousness of their conditions and not solely based on whether they happened to contract HIV, HCV or both viruses.


If you would like to enquire about making a claim, please click here, call our team on 020 7650 1089, or email us at cb@leighday.co.uk.

You can also follow us on Twitter @HCVJustice or on our Facebook page.

Our clients have been campaigning for many years for answers to their questions, the most burning question being how could contaminated blood have been given to so many NHS patients? We are taking steps to ensure that the surviving victims, and their families, are able to move forward with their lives

Leigh Day is a leading law firm with a track record of taking on governments, businesses and powerful institutions on behalf of individuals. We believe everyone should have access to justice.


Summary of article first published on 25 March 2015 on the Leigh Day Website.
Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details

2 thoughts on “Call for government to give fair compensation”

  1. Will the enquirers be looking into those people who were diagnosed with being carriers of Hep C and who believe contracted the virus after major surgery in the early 1980’s.
    Also having tried to claim compensation, were denied as “documentation no longer available” was given.

    1. Dear Kim,

      The Infected Blood Public Inquiry is looking into (amongst other things) what was known about contaminated blood, why this disaster was allowed to happen and what could have been done to prevent it. It will make recommendations to the Government in this regard. The terms of reference set out by the Inquiry (i.e., what they are investigating) are on their website.

      In regards to the group action, we are currently investigating whether we can bring a claim in negligence for the use of contaminated blood. We are acting on behalf of individuals who were given a blood transfusion(s) following surgeries, childbirth or even dentist appointments, and were subsequently diagnosed with Hepatitis C (in some cases this has been decades after the blood transfusion was administered).

      A number of our clients have also had the problem of being told that their medical records have been destroyed. This is unfortunately due to hospital policies which say that after eight years records will be destroyed. It can be difficult to establish a legal claim for compensation without supportive medical evidence (based on medical records), and we would need to consider whether it is still possible to prove your claim by alternative means on an individual basis.

      If you wish for us to consider your case please fill in our contact form. Alternatively, you can call the team on 020 7650 1089 or email them at cb@leighday.co.uk, in complete confidence.

      Best wishes,
      David

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