Norfolk contaminated blood victim backs calls for interim payments

Contaminated blood victim, Michelle Tolley of Sparham.

Contaminated blood victim, Michelle Tolley of Sparham, who is playing a large part in the public inquiry into the scandal. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

A Norfolk woman who contracted hepatitis after being given contaminated blood has welcomed calls for victims of the scandal to receive early compensation payments of at least £100,000.

Michelle Tolley, from Sparham, said the recommendations of a government commissioned review suggesting the payments were "positive".

She was speaking after Sir Robert Francis QC published his report setting the framework for compensating those affected by the scandal.

Mrs Tolley said: "I'm quite happy with the report, although getting the government to act on it might prove difficult.

"There are people affected who do not have the money the make memories with their families and loved-ones. That's who need this the most.

"It does not take into account the people who have already suffered losses - parents who have lost children have never seen a penny.

"I was quite overwhelmed when I saw the report for the first time though and I have quite mixed emotions."

Robert Francis QC. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Robert Francis QC. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

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Sir Robert's report has urged the government to make early compensation payments ahead of the completion of a public inquiry into the scandal, which saw at least 3,800 people given blood infected with HIV and hepatitis in the 1970s and 1980s.

He said: "There are those who fear they will not survive long enough to see, let alone enjoy, the fruits of an award of compensation."

He suggested payments should be made now to reflect the minimum amount an infected person could be expected to receive under a final compensation scheme.

"I have suggested this is unlikely to be less than £100,00 in any case," he added.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Ellis said: “There is a great deal of complexity to the issues that the study covers and a wide range of factors to be taken into account in considering Sir Robert’s recommendations.

“This analysis cannot be completed hurriedly but officials across government are focussing on this so that the government can be ready to respond quickly to the Inquiry’s recommendations, as was intended when the study was commissioned."