21st Nov, 2017

Contaminated blood scandal inquiry welcomed by MP

Ian Hughes 17th Jul, 2017

AN INQUIRY into the contaminated blood scandal which affected borough residents has been welcomed by MP Mark Pawsey.

The scandal saw more than 2,400 people with haemophilia die as a result of contaminated blood transfusions administered during the 1970s and 1980s. Tens of thousands of others contracted diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV.

Many of the donations were given by prison inmates in the US who sold their blood.

Victims – of which there are believed to be 7,500 – and their families believe they were not told of the risks involved and there was a cover-up.

And now answers can be expected after it was announced a full independent public inquiry would be held.

During the debate, Mr Pawsey called for the inquiry to consider the challenges faced by people affected by contaminated blood who wanted children after the issue was raised by a constituent.

Mr Pawsey, speaking after the announcement of the inquiry, told The Observer: “The issue of contaminated blood was first brought to my attention by a local resident whose life has been deeply affected by a transfusion of contaminated blood.

“My constituent was trying to have a child through IVF and the couple were entitled to one round of IVF through the normal procedures, but they applied for a second round. Despite the fact that their fertility was affected by contaminated blood, they were denied a second round of IVF and had to spend £8,000 of their family money in order to conceive a second child.

“I hope that the inquiry will consider the wider issues that this tragedy raises, including the challenges faced by those like my constituent.

“The Government has already done much to help those with contaminated blood, with an additional £125 million committed last July. This has taken the total provided in financial support to over £390 million but it is clear from the stories that I and many of my colleagues have heard that more needs to be done.

“I am therefore very pleased the Government has done the right thing and will set up an inquiry into how this terrible tragedy was allowed to happen, as well as what more can be done to help survivors and their families.”

The Macfarlane Trust was set up by the government in 1988 to compensate those affected by the scandal – but victims in Warwickshire have complained at having had to go ‘cap in hand’ to beg the trust for desperately needed support payments.

A south Warwickshire man says he has struggled to get the support he needs after being infected with Hepatitis through contaminated blood, after which he went on to be diagnosed with arthritis and liver cancer.

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