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Victims of UK's infected blood scandal to start receiving final compensation payments this year

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Victims of UK's infected blood scandal to start receiving final compensation payments this year
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Victims of UK's infected blood scandal to start receiving final compensation payments this year

2024-05-21 23:58 Last Updated At:05-22 00:00

LONDON (AP) — Victims of the U.K.'s infected blood scandal, in which tens of thousands of people were infected by contaminated blood or blood products provided by the public health service, will start receiving their final compensation payments this year, the government said Tuesday.

Officials announced the compensation plans a day after the publication of a report that found civil servants and doctors exposed patients to unacceptable risks by giving them blood transfusions or blood products tainted with HIV or hepatitis from the 1970s to the early 1990s.

The scandal is seen as the deadliest disaster in the history of Britain’s state-run National Health Service since its inception in 1948. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday apologized for the “decades-long moral failure at the heart of our national life."

The report said successive U.K. governments refused to admit wrongdoing and tried to cover up the scandal, in which an estimated 3,000 people died after receiving the contaminated blood or blood products. In total, the report said about 30,000 people were infected with HIV or hepatitis C, a kind of liver infection, over the period.

Cabinet Office Minister John Glen told lawmakers on Tuesday that he recognized that “time is of the essence," and that victims who need payments most urgently will receive a further interim compensation of 210,000 pounds ($267,000) within 90 days, ahead of the establishment of the full payment plan.

He also said that friends and family who have cared for those infected would also be eligible to claim compensation.

Authorities made a first interim payment of 100,000 pounds in 2022 to each survivor and bereaved partner. Glen did not confirm the total cost of the compensation package, though it is reported to be more than 10 billion pounds ($12.7 billion).

But Des Collins, a lawyer representing dozens of the victims, said many bereaved families have not received any payments to date and have no information on how to claim interim payments pledged to the estates of those who have died.

Campaigners have fought for decades to bring official failings to light and secure government compensation. The inquiry was finally approved in 2017, and over the past four years it reviewed evidence from more than 5,000 witnesses and over 100,000 documents.

Many of those affected were people with hemophilia, a condition affecting the blood’s ability to clot. In the 1970s, patients were given a new treatment from the United States that contained plasma from high-risk donors, including prison inmates, who were paid to give blood.

Because manufacturers of the treatment mixed plasma from thousands of donations, one infected donor would compromise the whole batch.

The report said around 1,250 people with bleeding disorders, including 380 children, were infected with HIV -tainted blood products. Three-quarters of them have died. Up to 5,000 others who received the blood products developed chronic hepatitis C.

An estimated 26,800 others were also infected with hepatitis C after receiving blood transfusions, often given in hospitals after childbirth, surgery or an accident, the report said.

The disaster could have largely been avoided had officials taken steps to address the known risks linked to blood transfusions or the use of blood products, the report concluded, adding that the U.K. lagged behind many developed countries in introducing rigorous screening of blood products and blood donor selection.

The harm done was worsened by concealment and a defensive culture within the government and health services, the inquiry added.

CORRECTS FATHER DENNIS TO HUSBAND BARRIE - Cressida Haughton, left, who's father Derek and Deborah Dennis who's husband Barrie died, react outside Central Hall in Westminster in London, after the publication of the Infected Blood Inquiry report, Monday May 20, 2024. British authorities and the country's public health service knowingly exposed tens of thousands of patients to deadly infections through contaminated blood and blood products, and hid the truth about the disaster for decades, an inquiry into the U.K.’s infected blood scandal found Monday. (Jeff Moore/PA via AP)

CORRECTS FATHER DENNIS TO HUSBAND BARRIE - Cressida Haughton, left, who's father Derek and Deborah Dennis who's husband Barrie died, react outside Central Hall in Westminster in London, after the publication of the Infected Blood Inquiry report, Monday May 20, 2024. British authorities and the country's public health service knowingly exposed tens of thousands of patients to deadly infections through contaminated blood and blood products, and hid the truth about the disaster for decades, an inquiry into the U.K.’s infected blood scandal found Monday. (Jeff Moore/PA via AP)

Infected blood campaigners react as they gather in Parliament Square, ahead of the publication of the final report into the scandal, in London, Sunday, May 19, 2024. The final report of the U.K.’s infected blood inquiry will be published Monday, six years after it started its work. The inquiry heard evidence as to how thousands of people contracted HIV or hepatitis from transfusions of tainted blood and blood products in the 1970s and 1980s. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

Infected blood campaigners react as they gather in Parliament Square, ahead of the publication of the final report into the scandal, in London, Sunday, May 19, 2024. The final report of the U.K.’s infected blood inquiry will be published Monday, six years after it started its work. The inquiry heard evidence as to how thousands of people contracted HIV or hepatitis from transfusions of tainted blood and blood products in the 1970s and 1980s. (Aaron Chown/PA via AP)

Victims of UK's infected blood scandal to start receiving final compensation payments this year

Victims of UK's infected blood scandal to start receiving final compensation payments this year

Victims of UK's infected blood scandal to start receiving final compensation payments this year

Victims of UK's infected blood scandal to start receiving final compensation payments this year

KIYOSU, Japan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun 19, 2024--

Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. (TOKYO:7282) has invested 1 in Synspective Inc., a startup that develops and operates small SAR satellites 2 and provides solutions based on satellite data analysis.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20240619747933/en/

Synspective was established based on development results for technology to make smaller SAR satellites in the Japanese Cabinet Office’s innovative research and development program (ImPACT). 3 Its business covers from satellite development to operation and proposals for solutions to problems using the obtained observational data. SAR satellites use radio waves (microwaves) of the wavelength range that can penetrate clouds, and so ground data can be obtained even during inclement weather and at night. By linking a number of these satellites, semi-real time and broad area observations are achieved. The aim is to help in responding to disasters and maintaining the earth’s environment.

In the automotive industry that is undergoing great changes beyond the previous boundaries, Toyoda Gosei aims to achieve sustainable business growth by exploring new fields unbound by its existing operations. The space-related business being developed by Synspective is expected to grow in the coming years. Toyoda Gosei invested in the company to gather information with a view to exploring fields where its technology can be used.

 

Small SAR satellite developed and operated by Synspective (Graphic: Business Wire)

Small SAR satellite developed and operated by Synspective (Graphic: Business Wire)

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