Compensation decision a "relief" says Norfolk blood contamination victim
- Credit: Suzanne Jones
A Norfolk woman who was given Hepatitis C through a contaminated blood transfusion has said a decision over compensation was a "relief".
Described as the worst tragedy in the history of the NHS, thousands of patients were given blood products contaminated with HIV and Hepatitis C in the 1970s and 1980s.
Among them was Suzanne Jones, who lives in Caister-on-Sea, who was infected during spinal surgery for scoliosis as a teenager in 1984.
On Thursday, Penny Mordaunt, paymaster general announced changes to how those affected and their families are paid, including all bereaved partners to automatically get a £10,000 lump sum.
Regular payments would also increase for survivors of infections.
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She also announced an "independent" reviewer would be appointed shortly to look into future compensation developments.
Miss Jones, 55, said: "My initial feeling was a feeling of relief as this has been a very long, very difficult, painful journey to get where we are today, especially for those whose love ones have died. I feel the compensation is a start and will be extremely helpful as I am now registered disabled as a result of being infected with Hepatitis C through contaminated blood.
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"I have anxiety issues because of it, I am registered disabled and I have been unable to work as a result of ongoing treatment after being infected with Hepatitis C via blood transfusions during surgery 37 years ago
"I was infected with Hepatitis C and it ruined the rest of my life. No amount of compensation can ever make up for the detrimental impact this has had on all our lives, not just mine but my family too.
"I hope the Government finally admitting and accepting liability after four decades for the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS will finally be the start of closure for us.
"Someone could have prevented the loss of so many lives, tearing families apart, causing years of pain and heartache because of this awful, preventable treatment disaster."
The announcement has also been welcomed by bodies working with affected patients and their loved ones."
A separate inquiry is currently being held into the scandal led by Sir Brian Langstaff.