Victims react to infected blood scandal report

Jonathan Colam-French
Jonathan Colam-French, from Lincolnshire, said the report "holds back no punches" [BBC]

Victims of the infected blood scandal have said the official report published today confirmed what they have "known all along".

From 1970 to 1991, more than 30,000 people were infected with HIV and hepatitis C from contaminated blood products and fusions.

The five-year investigation has accused doctors, the government and the NHS of covering up what happened.

About 3,000 people have died with the report stating patients were knowingly exposed to "unacceptable risks".

Mel McKay
Mel McKay, from East Yorkshire, said the report is an "absolute milestone" for infected blood scandal victims [BBC]

Jonathan Colam-French from Spilsby, in Lincolnshire, was 11 in 1982 when he was given blood-clotting treatment, Factor VIII, for a bruised finger at Lincoln Haemophilia Centre.

He realised he had been infected with hepatitis C after visiting his GP, aged 28, after seeing coverage about infected blood in the news.

Mr Colam-French said: "The report holds back no punches, it really is hard-hitting. It confirms the things that we all knew and felt were true.

"Haemophilia doctors were deliberately injecting clotting factors that they knew carried a risk of non-A, non-B Hepatitis C into young children in the 1980s.

"You don't think that would happen in England but the report is very clear that it went on."

He added: "My biggest hope is that history won't be repeated.

"I wouldn't wish what people with haemophilia have been through on anybody.

"It's not just the infections or the betrayal of trust, it's also the wholesale cover-up and complete denial by the government."

Phil Sainsbury
Phil Sainsbury spoke out for his brother Nick, who had severe haemophilia and died at the age of 59, with medicine leaving him infected with HIV and hepatitis C [BBC]

Mel McKay, from Bridlington, East Yorkshire, was given a transfusion following open-heart surgery. She was left HIV positive as a young girl.

She said: "Today is an absolute milestone because it actually proves what we've known all along.

"There's been a mass-cover-up from not just the government but the NHS, doctors and even the pharmaceutical companies."

Ms McKay said she wants an apology from "everyone who knew about the cover-up on every level".

Phil Sainsbury is the brother of Nick Sainsbury, an East Yorkshire man who had severe haemophilia, with medicine leaving him infected with HIV and hepatitis C.

He died last year at the age of 59, after he had given evidence to the infected blood inquiry.

Reacting to the report, Mr Sainsbury said: "I think for many that are still suffering this needs to be dealt with promptly.

"Many are still passing away quickly and they need to be fully looked after for the rest of their lives.

"This is something that will hopefully come from the report today."

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, speaking in the Commons, offered a "whole-hearted" apology to the victims.

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