Anger of East Ham family left out of NHS blood scandal payout
- Credit: Archant
The family of three brothers who died horrific deaths after being infected with viruses by the NHS have spoken of their anger that they will not receive a penny in compensation.
The Farrugia family was torn apart when Victor, Barry and David were infected with HIV or hepatitis C from contaminated blood products used to treat the blood clotting disorder haemophilia in the 1980s. They all died.
The eldest, Victor, who lived in Brooks Avenue, East Ham, suffered years of stigma. His home was vandalised and “Aids scum” was scrawled on his door before he died of the disease in 2002.
Gas technician Barry was just 37 when he died of Aids in 1986. He had also encountered huge prejudice and suffered a mental breakdown. Three of his five sons were taken into care.
After learning the truth about his father’s and uncles’ deaths seven years ago, Barry’s son Tony Farrugia has campaigned for justice and compensation for the family.
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But their hopes were shattered last week as the government announced a long-awaited consultation on reforming payouts for tainted blood victims will not include children of those who died.
“This new system will not give our family anything, not a penny,” said Tony.
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“We’ve never received any money as dad died before the trusts were set up. Uncle Vic’s son and daughter have had nothing and Uncle Dave’s wife also received nothing.
“At the end of the day our anger is that they have never recognised what was done to our family.
“We’re asking for them to recognise the pain and damage done.”
The Farrugia brothers were among thousands of haemophiliacs infected when blood products manufactured commercially and without safety checks were used by the NHS up until 1991.
An estimated 2,000 have since died and the scandal has been described as the 15th largest peacetime disaster in British history.
The government last week announced a further £100million to help those affected and the Department for Health insists more people will be eligible for payments under the new proposals, which are subject to consultation.
But victims say the plans do not go far enough and could even leave them worse off.