A COVENTRY man who contracted HIV and became disabled after receiving contaminated blood in an NHS scandal is “hopeful” that victims will finally get compensation.
Josephy Peatty is “quietly optimistic” that developments this week in Parliament will, after years of campaigning, lead to full compensation and adequate support.
The Observer last month highlighted his plight and others in the so-called “tainted blood scandal”, after Coventry North west Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson raised at Prime Ministers’ Questions latest delays to government pledges of compensation.
David Cameron had pledged last June to resolve the matter within six months.
A key report will be published on Wednesday by an all-party Parliamentary committee following an inquiry, and Mr Robinson will speak in a back bench MPs’ debate in the Commons on Thursday.
The long-awaited report follows a review into the adequacy of government-funded support for victims and their families.
Mr Peaty, of Allesley, Coventry, was among an estimated 4,670 haemophiliacs given NHS blood transfusions in the 1970s and 1980s contaminated with the AIDS virus or hepatitis C. Nearly half of them have died.
He said: “Given the length of time the campaign has been going and it’s been 40 years since these events unfolded, we are hopeful.
“This is the best position we’ve been in, and the closest we’ve felt towards a full and final resolution.
“We’re quietly optimistic but also concerned that the election looms large, and momentum can be lost if all parties do not commit themselves to getting this matter resolved before March when Parliament is dissolved.”
Deputy PM Nick Clegg said last month it was a “heart-wretching issue which had dragged on for a very long time.”
Mr Peatty, a former Coventry council officer now unable to work, said government support with grants, counselling and other help though charitable trusts has been”inadequate”, and funding had been “choked off”.
His health deteriorated in the 1990s to the verge of AIDS – until new drugs saved his life.
He was diagnosed with haemophilia when nine months old – which causes any bleeding from cuts to be life-threatening.
He was given blood from the late 1970s imported from the US by one of several private firms involved in the scandal. It often came from prison inmates.
The Tainted Blood campaign has demanded a multi-billion pound payout to victims.
Six years ago, an independent inquiry by Lord Archer ruled victims were owed full compensation. Ministerial promises have since fallen by the wayside.
Mr Robinson said: “All we want is a decision and an announcement from David Cameron. No more committees and no more inquiries. We want justice for the remaining victims who have been treated appallingly by government.”