Infected blood victims to receive £210,000 payment within weeks, paymaster general confirms

21 May 2024, 15:37

Relatives of victims pose with the Infected Blood Inquiry final report as they gather outside Westminster
Relatives of victims pose with the Infected Blood Inquiry final report as they gather outside Westminster. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Payments to victims of the infected blood scandal are expected to begin within weeks, the paymaster general has confirmed.

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Victims who are already registered with existing blood support schemes are expected to receive an interim payment of £210,000, the paymaster general told the House of Commons on Tuesday.

The wider compensation package for victims will be split into five main categories, The Times reports.

This includes:

  • Injury
  • Social impact
  • Autonomy
  • Care
  • Financial loss

The payments will be administered by the Infected Blood Compensation Authority - a brand new agency dedicated to ensuring victims are compensated.

LBC Views: 'No Accident': Unnecessary infected blood transfusions on me aged eight led to my Hepatitis C nightmare

Relatives of those who have been infected by the scandal will also be able to claim their own compensation.

John Glen told the Commons: “When a person with an eligible infection has been accepted onto the scheme, their infected loved ones will be able to apply for compensation in their own right.

“That means partners, parents, siblings, children, and friends and family who have acted as carers of those who were infected are all eligible to claim.”

Findings Of The Infected Blood Inquiry Are Published
Findings Of The Infected Blood Inquiry Are Published. Picture: Getty

Mr Glen said: "If I could write the cheques myself personally, I would, but I can't - and I will continue to do all that I can. "I said that these payments would begin in the summer, I want them to happen as soon as possible.

"The 90 days isn't a deadline, what I mean is it's not an obligation, and we want to get them out as soon as possible, and where we can, we will."

The Cabinet minister added that there is 'no limit' on the budget to pay back victims, though estimates suggest it could cost as much as £10bn.

Around 30,000 people were affected by the blood transfusions between the 1970s and 1990s.

Read More: Lord Ken Clarke has 'questions to answer' over Infected Blood Scandal minister tells LBC amid calls to revoke peerage

It comes a day after Rishi Sunak apologised for the infected blood scandal, labelling it was a 'day of shame for the British state' after the inquiry’s report found there was a ‘chilling’ cover-up.

Speaking in Parliament on Monday afternoon, the Prime Minister said: "I want to make a wholehearted and unequivocal apology for this terrible injustice.

"First to apologise for the failure in blood policy and blood products and the devastating so often fatal impact this had on so many lives" alongside the 'mismanagement of the response to the emergence of AIDS and hepatitis viruses amongst infected blood victims."

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Picture: Alamy

Secondly, Mr Sunak apologised for the “repeated failure of the state and our medical professionals to recognise the harm caused".

He also apologised for the “the institutional failure to face up to these failings, and worse, to deny, and even attempt to cover them up” and the “appalling length of time it took to secure the public inquiry".

"This is an apology from the state to every single person impacted by this scandal."

It comes after the final report, published on Monday, found that the treatment disaster could and should have been stopped after more than 30,000 people were infected with HIV and hepatitis C from 1970 to 1991 by contaminated blood products and transfusions.

The five-year investigation has also accused doctors, the government and NHS of attempting to cover up what took place.

Around 3,000 people have died in what has been called the biggest treatment disaster in NHS history, with victims campaigning for compensation for years.

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