Parents of infected blood victim to 'keep fighting'

Image of Lee Turton smiling at the camera while holding a white, fluffy toy
Lee Turton died in 1992 after being accidentally infected with HIV [Family photo]

A couple who lost their young son to the infected blood scandal said he still hasn't been recognised.

Lee, the child of Denise and Colin Turton, died of HIV aged 10 in 1992. The couple are among thousands of people who have lobbied the government for compensation.

Earlier, it was announced that some victims will receive £210,000 interim compensation within 90 days - but the Turton family do not meet the criteria.

A public inquiry published on Monday found that the scandal could have been "largely avoided".

Image of protestors carrying signs about contaminated blood
Victims of the scandal lobbied the government for compensation [PA Media]

More than 30,000 people were infected with HIV and hepatitis C from 1970 to 1991 by contaminated blood products and transfusions, and around 3,000 of them have since died.

The five-year investigation accused doctors, the government and the NHS of letting patients catch HIV and hepatitis.

The Infected Blood Inquiry said victims had been failed "not once but repeatedly" by doctors, the NHS, government and others responsible for their safety.

Read more on the infected blood inquiry

Lee was infected with HIV at the age of two, when he was given contaminated blood plasma as a treatment for haemophilia.

Mrs Turton said the compensation tariffs are "not clear at all".

"The deceased are still not being recognised at all," Mrs Turton said.

The couple, from Nailsea in Somerset, acknowledged that money will not fix the problem, but said a financial settlement would allow them to "do something together" in the future and help their other children.

"We've done everything we can possibly do and we will continue fighting for him," Mrs Turton said.

"We were so disappointed this morning. We thought his life would've been recognised, but it wasn't."

Image of Denise and Colin Turton sitting together on a sofa
Denise and Colin Turton said they will "continue fighting" for their son [BBC]

The government announced that the payments will be made to "living infected beneficiaries", those who register for support before the final scheme is operational and the estates of those who pass away in the intervening period before final payments are made.

The scheme will be administered by the Infected Blood Compensation Authority, with Sir Robert Francis serving as the interim chair.

The first payments are expected to be made before the end of the year.

Although the total compensation cost has not yet been confirmed, the policy paper suggests some victims could receive between £2.2m and £2.6m.

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