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UK Blood Scandal: Department of Health fails to list victims as ‘vulnerable’ in pandemic

VICTIMS of the UK’s Infected Blood Scandal have been ignored and not classified as “vulnerable” by the Department of Health that is accused of having caused their illness through a combination of negligence, then cover-up in the 1970s and 1980s, claims the legal team that campaigns on behalf of those infected and affected by the tragedy.

The Department of Health has not issued any of the victims of the scandal with the relevant advice letters sent to all other groups in the UK that have been deemed, “vulnerable”.

The Public Inquiry heard distressing testimonies last year from those infected and affected by the contaminated blood plasma that was sourced by the Department of Health from unsuitable institutions, such as the US prison system.

On 30th April 2019, nearly two years after it was announced by the Prime Minister, the Infected Blood Public Inquiry began to hear evidence from the victims and their families.

But the inquiry has been placed on hold and the crucial evidence from the Department of Health civil servants who worked throughout the years when hemophiliac patients were being advised to regularly use the contaminated blood has been placed on hold, with no exact date until when the sitting will resume.

Des Collins Senior Partner at Collins Solicitors said: “All evidence points to the wrongdoing and then the covering up of that wrongdoing by the Department of Health.

“They have practiced a strategy of delays and avoidance techniques and are still claiming that they will not pay compensation to those infected and the affected families until the Inquiry is finished”

Unfortunately, many of those infected are dying because of the complications due to the diseases that they contracted via the contaminated blood.

Many have developed HIV and Hepatitis and so have been very vulnerable to exhibiting a severe and fatal reaction to Covid-19.

Those infected by the contaminated plasma do not have the time to wait until the pandemic ends for justice, as the situation is so precarious that many fear they will have died by the time the inquiry resumes.

Mr Collins added: “We have achieved a great deal since the hearings opened in April 2019, but by any measure progress is incredibly slow.

“We are expecting the findings of the inquiry to be published early in 2022, but for many this will be too late as, very sadly, many more victims will have died by the time they are published.

“We need to keep moving.

“So many of those infected and affected by this tragedy suffer ill health and financial problems as a direct result of infection through no fault of their own.”

Those who survive the contaminated blood scandal today face a lifetime on medication coping with both serious illness and shocking discrimination.

The Department of Health responded as to why individuals infected by the contaminated blood plasma were not put on the Covid-19 shielding list.

Social Care Senior Media Relations Officer Robbie Gordon advised the victim’s of the infected blood scandal to contact their GP and ask to be placed on the list.

The GP would then inform the Department of Health that the patient was deemed more vulnerable to coronavirus.

The patient would then receive a letter providing advice, such as the need to shield for 12 months, and informing them of the extra support that will be provided to those on the shielding list.

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