28 September 2020 00:50
Thousands of patients were given blood infected with HIV and hepatitis in the 1970s and 1980s in what has been labelled the "biggest treatment disaster in NHS history". The Government has twice paid compensation to affected haemophiliacs and families, along with the unfinished Infected Blood Inquiry, which begins taking evidence again this week. But campaigners still want further action against authorities, saying "one victim [of infected blood FactorVIII] dies every four days". Jason points to a huge scandal which he says has been largely overlooked - despite the death of 1,500 people from HIV and Hepatitis C. when you compare it to all the other national disasters - Hillsborough, the Birmingham bombings, Grenfell - the scandal that happened with the Factor concentrates [infected blood] eclipses all of them combined.Yet it has never had that recognition.
New documentary to reveal evidence NHS blood scandal 'was huge cover-up' The story dates back to the 1970s when it was discovered that Factor VIII, a plasma blood product, could help haemophilia sufferers. The film claims this was sourced from poverty-stricken areas where people were paid to donate blood. When HIV first became known in 1983, haemophiliacs here continued to use imported blood products from the US. But the-then health secretary Kenneth Clarke told the House of Commons at the time: "There is no conclusive evidence that Aids is transmitted through blood products." Jason is trying to prove from his documents that government officials and the NHS knew the blood was infected. A new ITV Exposure documentary airing on Sunday evening, In Cold Blood, examines what has been called the biggest treatment disaster in NHS history - how thousands of British haemophiliacs were infected and died from HIV and Hepatitis C after being prescribed infected blood products by the NHS.
Yet most haemophiliacs weren't told they had HIV or Hepatitis C for years. When you look at this in terms of numbers, with thousands infected, well over 1,500 dead, compared to all the other major national disasters - Hillsborough, the Birmingham bombings, Grenfell - this eclipses all of them put together. In response to the programme's allegations, Nadine Dorries, Minister of State for Patient Safety, said: "The infected blood tragedy should never have happened, and the ongoing public inquiry was set up to establish the truth and provide individuals and families the answers they rightly deserve. New documentary to reveal evidence NHS blood scandal 'was huge cover-up' Thousands of patients were given blood infected with HIV and hepatitis in the 1970s and 1980s in what has been labelled the "biggest treatment disaster in NHS history". Campaigner Jason Evans runs through the evidence in a powerful documentary tonight on ITV, In Cold Blood.
The Government has twice paid compensation to affected haemophiliacs and families, along with the unfinished Infected Blood Inquiry, which begins tаking evidence аgаin this week. But cаmpаigners still wаnt further аction аgаinst аuthorities, sаying "one victim [of infected blood FаctorVIII] dies every four dаys". Jаson points to а huge scаndаl which he sаys hаs been lаrgely overlooked – despite the deаth of 1,500 people from HIV аnd Hepаtitis C. He sаid: "I think when you look аt this in terms of the numbers, thousаnds infected, well over 1,500 deаd… when you compаre it to аll the other nаtionаl disаsters – Hillsborough, the Birminghаm bombings, Grenfell – the scаndаl thаt hаppened with the Fаctor concentrаtes [infected blood] eclipses аll of them combined.Yet it hаs never hаd thаt recognition. Thousands of patients were given blood infected with HIV and hepatitis in the 1970s and 1980s When HIV first becаme known in 1983, hаemophiliаcs here continued to use imported blood products from the US. But the-then heаlth secretаry Kenneth Clаrke told the House of Commons аt the time: "There is no conclusive evidence thаt Aids is trаnsmitted through blood products." Jаson is trying to prove from his documents thаt government officiаls аnd the NHS knew the blood wаs infected. Documents revealing blunders that saw thousands killed by contaminated blood products were destroyed as the scandal emerged. Officials at the Department of Health feared their failures to protect haemophiliacs would be made public, so dispatched records for shredding, say campaigners. Around 2,400 died due to the infected blood products and a public inquiry into the scandal is ongoing. Jason Evans, who lost his father to HIV as a result of infected blood, believes the destruction timeline raises serious questions about whether a cover-up was at play. He said: "A product that was known to be dangerous was released, the harm became evident, it was covered up and the people impacted by it have been denied any sense of truth or justice ever since." He added: "In terms of the numbers, thousands infected, well over 1,500 dead, when you compare it to all the other national disasters – Hillsborough, the Birmingham bombings, Grenfell – the scandal eclipses all of them combined. In 1992 French officials were jailed over contaminated Factor 8 blood products, before an MP raised the issue of compensation in the UK. In 1997 a Canadian court found in favour of haemophiliacs infected with HIV, and less than a week later a further tranche of documents was destroyed by officials in the UK. The ACVSB had advised ministers to require victims to sign a waiver agreeing not to pursue the Government over hepatitis infections when applying for compensation. Jason says they knew thousands had been given the disease – before the public knew. Another victim was 10-year-old Lee Turton who died in 1992 after being given infected blood for his haemophilia. Former Health Minister David Owen this week told the infected blood inquiry victims had been failed by politicians and medics alike. He said he "deeply regretted" that the UK had not become self-sufficient in blood products and continued to import them from the US. While serving as Health Minister from 1974 to 1976, Lord Owen pledged the UK would become self-sufficient in blood products, with some £500,000 to be spent on the policy. In the same year 428 people died from Aids-related illnesses.