20 January 2011
NHS Blunder: Contraction of Hepatitis C
Some of you may remember the appalling NHS blunder in the 1970s and 1980s where 4,670 patients were infected with hepatitis C — 1,243 of them also getting HIV — after being treated with clotting products made from contaminated blood.
Almost 2,000 people have died as a consequence.The department of health issued a press release dealing with the increased compensation scheme being offered to victims after a long-awaited 3 month review.These tragic errors happened over 30 years ago and this revised scheme marks a significant rise in support offered to the victims and their families.
Previous governments have been condemned for failing to mount a full public inquiry over the last 20 years. As you would expect, measures have been implemented across all Trusts to minimise the risk of this happening again. In the majority of hospitals, you would simply not hear of such a basic error happening today.
Regrettably though, we continue to receive enquiries from victims of infected blood transfusions. Such errors add insult to injury as these patients have invariably gone into hospital with a serious condition in the first place. They find themselves being discharged with another serious illness like hepatitis C, or worse, HIV.
Iona Millais is a solicitor specialising in clinical negligence. If you or a member of your family have a clinical negligence enquiry please call our expert clinical negligence solicitors on 0800 916 9049 or contact us online and one of our specialist clinical negligence team will be in touch