Women who lost three brothers to NHS blood scandal angry at ‘cruel’ £25m funding delay
PUBLISHED: 12:55 27 July 2015 | UPDATED: 16:26 27 July 2015
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A woman who lost three brothers after they were treated with NHS blood infected with killer viruses has spoken of the “cruelty” of a government delay in spending £25million to help those affected.
Three of Angela Farrugia’s brothers died painful deaths after they were contracted HIV and hepatitis C (hep C) from NHS blood products to treat the blood-clotting disorder haemophilia, including her oldest brother Victor Farrugia, of Brooks Avenue, East Ham.
She has hit out over the government’s decision to delay £25million of funding promised to reform the system of support for the thousands affected.
She said: “I do think it’s cruel to delay it anymore.
“There are people out there that have got months to live and they’re not going to die peacefully knowing that their family will be looked after.
“People will be dead before this is sorted out. One of my brothers has been dead nearly 30 years.”
Former merchant navy man Victor died from Aids aged 63 in 2002 after suffering years of stigma.
Following her brother’s deaths, Angela and her nephew Tony joined the campaign to deliver justice for the many victims and to fight for a fair settlement for her brothers’ children.
In March this year prime minister David Cameron pledged £25million to ease transition to a reformed system of support for the thousands infected with HIV and hep C from blood and blood products used by the NHS before 1991.
But last week parliamentary under secretary of state in the Department of Heath, Lord Prior of Brampton, announced no decision would be made on allocating the money until after Parliament’s summer recess.
He said: “While I understand beneficiaries to the current schemes may be frustrated by this wait, this is an extremely complex and sensitive area and any reform plans must be carefully considered.”
He said consultation would not begin until after the autumn spending review.
A number of MPs rounded on the government in an urgent debate in the House of Commons on July 20 saying blood scandal victims felt they were being “left to die in misery” to save money.
The Newham Recorder’s special report last month highlighted the many ways victims and their families continue to be let down by the government many decades on from the tragedy.
Of the 7,000 people given contaminated blood products, some through routine transfusions, only an estimated 6,000 know it. Some 2,000 people have died.
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