Widow tells of hopes for contaminated blood inquiry

Carol Grayson, who will appear at the Infected Blood Inquiry as it gathers information.
Carol Grayson, who will appear at the Infected Blood Inquiry as it gathers information.

The widow of a Hartlepool man who died from contaminated blood says she hopes the infected blood inquiry will put victims at its centre.

Carol Grayson’s husband, Peter Longstaff, died in April 2005 aged just 47 after contracting HIV and hepatitis D and C from infected NHS blood products.

Carol has spent 30 years campaigning and fighting for justice.

She was instrumental in bringing the scandal to light, partly through her dissertation during her MA at the University of Sunderland, and is to be a core participant witness in the inquiry.

Ms Grayson, 59, who lives in Newcastle, said: “This has literally devastated our family. First my brother-in-law died in 1986, he was only 20, then my husband died in 2005.

“I hope they put victims at the centre of the inquiry and hope they are sensitive.

“They also need to deliver proper compensation to families who have suffered for decades. I think of Pete every day. I have not been able to move on in my life because there has been no justice.”

But Ms Grayson said she fears the latest inquiry is attempting to bring two different cases, each involving thousands of victims, under one roof.

Many patients became infected after receiving transfusions from blood donated in England, while a fewer number of people, including Mr Longstaff, became infected with blood from America.

Ms Grayson added: “This is something which really should have been done 20 years ago.”