Search

Christmas of uncertainty for NHS blood victims as government delays again

PUBLISHED: 18:00 17 December 2015 | UPDATED: 18:00 17 December 2015

Bruce Norval was infected with hep C from contaminated blood

Bruce Norval was infected with hep C from contaminated blood

Archant

Victims of the contaminated blood scandal face a Christmas of uncertainty as the government has once again delayed making amends for decades of suffering.

Local residents are among 7,500 nationally who were infected with HIV and hepatitis C (hep C) from high-risk blood products supplied by the NHS up until 1991 and have lived in ill-health ever since.

Campaigners have been fighting for 30 years for a public enquiry into the scandal and for a proper system of compensation and support for those whose lives were torn apart.

Yesterday, during an urgent debate in the House of Commons, health minister Jane Ellison admitted the timetable for reforming systems of support for victims, described as “completely unfit for purpose”, has slipped again.

“I recognise that I committed in earlier debates to consulting on proposals to reform the current payment schemes before the end of the year,” she said.

“Despite our best efforts to meet that commitment, we are unfortunately not ready to publish the consultation before the recess. However, I confirm today that it will be published in January.

“The delay will, I know, be disappointing for many who were anticipating the consultation before the end of the year.

“I apologise for the delay, in particular to Members of the House who have been campaigning tirelessly for a resolution on behalf of their constituents and to those who are directly affected, who continue to wait patiently for our proposals.”

Earlier this year prime minister David Cameron apologised on behalf of the government for the tragedy and promised £25million support for victims immediately and to increase that after the general election in May.

But the money has not been released and announcements were first delayed until after the summer recess of Parliament, then until after the chancellor’s Autumn Spending Review, and then again until the end of this year before yesterday’s further hold-up.

It brings yet more agony for those who have lost their health or loved ones to the scandal, as they face another Christmas without proper financial support.

Former Kilburn resident Bruce Norval, who was treated with contaminated blood factor products many thousands of times and contracted hep C, said of the delays in November: “The state still insists in ignoring the illegality, and unethical treatment. Patients were used as lab rats and claiming no fault is an affront to stark evidence to the contrary.”

He is among 7,500 in the UK with the blood disorder haemophilia who contracted HIV or hep C following a deadly medical oversight in which blood products from high risk donors, such as drug addicts and prisoners, were given to NHS patients.

Diana Johnson MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood, told the Commons yesterday: “On three occasions, ministers promised a statement before Christmas. When the minister speaks about a consultation in January, I assume that she means January 2016.

“I would like clarification on that, because dates always seem to slip, and such action from the government fuels distrust and resentment among people who have been let down for too long.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Kilburn Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Kilburn Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Kilburn Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Kilburn & Brent News Stories

14:05

A Wembley mother who was spared jail for posting Islamic State propaganda on Facebook is to have her sentenced challenged by the Attorney General.

A man has admitted ploughing into two Brent police officers in a sports car, leaving one critically injured.

Yesterday, 19:05

Supermarket chiefs in Wembley are being served a notice to sort out persistent noise made in its car park following seven years of complaints by residents.

Yesterday, 18:40

An 86-year-old pensioner who went missing from Willesden has been found.

Yesterday, 16:19

Health chiefs in Brent are urging people to avoid going to hospital if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms in order to protect other patients.

Yesterday, 11:37

A Neasden motorist is appealing a fine claiming a ticket was issued when a “no right turn” sign was either not visible or missing in Queen’s Park.

Yesterday, 11:12

Environmental officers are investigating whether leaking paint during a devastating factory blaze has contaminated the Welsh Harp reservoir.

Tue, 16:53

Police are appealing for help in finding a missing 86-year-old woman from Willesden who has dementia.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Brent Clinical Commissioning Group has announced changes to the community’s cardiology service.

If you have been looking for laser hair removal, beauty salon treatments, or skin care services you may be confused and overwhelmed with so much information out there and so many clinics and salons promising miraculous results.

Louise McGowan, who started as headmistress of Convent of Jesus and Mary Language College in September, speaks to education editor James Scott about life at the school.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Read Kilburn News

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now