Hartlepool infected blood scandal campaigner welcomes call for £100,000 compensation to victims 'without delay'

A widow who has campaigned for over 20 years for victims of an infected blood scandal has welcomed a recommendation that they receive at least £100,000 compensation.

Carol Grayson, from Hartlepool, has carried out years of research and campaigned for justice for around 2,400 people who died in what has been labelled the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

They include her husband Peter Longstaff who died in 2005 after contracting hepatitis C and HIV from contaminated blood he was given to treat haemophilia.

Now, Sir Brian Langstaff, who is chairing a long-running public inquiry into the scandal, has called for the compensation to be provided to all victims and their partners “without delay”.

Carol Grayson

Writing to the Government’s Paymaster General Michael Ellis on Friday, July 29, he said he had made the recommendation in light of the inquiry hearing evidence of “profound physical and mental suffering”.

Carol, 62, who now lives in Newcastle, said: "I welcome the interim recommendations of Sir Brian Langstaff, a positive first step on the road to compensation which will bring some peace of mind to victims of the Contaminated Blood scandal.

“Many haemophiliacs and bereaved partners who in many cases acted as their main carer for very long periods often unsupported are now of the older generation, are in very poor health, both physical and psychological and don’t have time on their side.

"It should be relatively easy for government to make these particular payments quickly as they are already registered on existing support schemes and known to officials.”

Peter Longstaff, a haemophiliac, was given blood contaminated with HIV and Hepatitis B and C.

Carol said over 400 infected people and some partners have died since previous recommendations for compensation were made back in 2010.

Children, parents, siblings and other relevant persons are due to receive compensation at a later stage and the losses and needs of all infected and affected must be fully assessed as soon as possible, added Carol.

She said: “There may be others not yet registered on the schemes that will need to be added on also. I anticipate this process will start once Sir Brian’s final report is published and I understand is expected in 2023.

“As Sir Brian stressed, this is interim only and families eagerly await his final report.”

Peter and Carol in happier times.

Carol gave evidence to the inquiry last month. It is now on a break until September.