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Infect blood scandal campaigners say fight ‘not over yet’

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Infect blood scandal campaigners say fight ‘not over yet’

Victims and relatives affected by the infected blood scandal have vowed that their fight is “not over yet” as they paid tribute to the people who have died.

Campaigners were praised for their “tireless” efforts to get justice for people affected by the scandal – dubbed the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

The Infected Blood Inquiry, which was launched in 2017 by former prime minister Theresa May, will publish its final report on Monday and is expected to shine a light on how “wrongs were done at individual, collective and systemic levels”.

Tens of thousands of people were infected with contaminated blood products or blood transfusions between the 1970s and early 1990s.

An estimated 3,000 people have died as a result while those who survived have lived with life-long health implications.

Hundreds of those affected by the scandal gathered at Westminster on Sunday afternoon at an event organised by the Hepatitis C Trust to mark the end of the inquiry.

Some of those in attendance have been campaigning for decades for justice.

Attendees held a one-minute silence to remember people who have died.

Rachel Halford, chief executive of The Hepatitis C Trust, said: “It has been a really long road to get here.

“We would not be here without the tireless campaign efforts of all of the people in the community – you signed petitions, spoke to the media, shared your experiences with the inquiry, lobbied your MPs and fought tooth and nail to be heard.”

She added in a statement: “But the fight is not over yet. Action from Government to right these historic wrongs is needed as urgently as ever: more than 650 who received infected blood or blood products have died since the Infected Blood Inquiry began.

“The Government must implement all the recommendations of the inquiry and announce a clear timeline for when compensation payments will be made as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, MP Dame Diana Johnson, who had lobbied on the issue for two decades, spoke of her emotion as she addressed the crowd.

She said: “The journey has been far too long and far too slow and we know that many are not here when they should be.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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