The victims of the tainted blood scandal should each receive at least £100,000 in compensation “promptly”, the chair of the inquiry investigating the matter has recommended.
With more than 4,000 surviving victims of the scandal, compensation is expected to be at least £400 million.
The Infected Blood Inquiry was set up to look at the conditions in which patients treated by the NHS in the 1970s and 1980s received infected blood and blood products. At least 2,400 people died after contracting HIV or hepatitis C as a result of the blood products and as many as 30,000 people became seriously ill.
The investigation also examines the impact on their families, how authorities responded, and the care and support provided.
On Friday, Sir Brian Langstaff, the inquiry’s chairman, advised the amount of interim compensation payments.
He said: “I am obliged to recognize that the practical way to make payments quickly is to do so through the current infected blood support schemes. I have therefore decided to recommend that interim payments of not less than £100,000 be made to all infected people, and to all survivors currently registered with the schemes, and those who register between now and the start of any future scheme. . ”
The recommendation comes after Boris Johnson was urged to immediately pay the interim amounts to those affected before more of them die.
In an open letter signed this month by groups such as the Haemophilia Society and the Terrence Higgins Trust and delivered personally to the Prime Minister, signatories said 419 people had died between July 2017, when the investigation was announced, and February this years, and it was reported that one infected person died every four days.
There are four infected blood programs in the UK and people are eligible for support if they have been infected with hepatitis C or HIV from NHS blood or blood products, or if they are the spouse, citizen or long-term partner of an infected person who died.
Des Collins, a senior partner at Collins Solicitors, who represents some of the victims, said the compensation had been due for decades.
Collins added: “We look forward to the day when all victims of this scandal are duly compensated for their suffering, and those whose decisions have resulted in the destruction of countless innocent lives being held accountable.”
Kate Burt, the director of the Haemophilia Society, said: “The government has ignored the urgent and compelling reason for interim compensation payments for too long. Today’s recommendations leave no room for doubt: many of those infected or bereaved are sick and dying and have need compensation now.”
A government spokesman said: “We recognize how important this will be for people infected and affected across the UK and can confirm that the Government will consider Sir Brian’s report with the utmost urgency and respond as quickly as possible. .”
The investigation, which began in 2018, will publish its final report in the middle of next year.