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Government announces compensation for hepatitis C victims

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People who were infected with tainted blood products in the 1970s and 1980s are to be compensated, Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, has announced.

Damages worth millions of pounds are to be paid to almost 4,300 people who contracted hepatitis C through contaminated blood.

In what has been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS, victims- mainly haemophiliacs - were given blood contaminated with the hepatitis C virus.

Compensation to increase by £130 million

Mr Lansley has now announced a total of £130 million pounds worth of payments and additional compensation to what was already available to victims worth between £49 millions and £78 millions in catch-up payments and £12m a year thereafter to patients who contracted the virus in England.

The scheme will also be extended to the families of victims who died before 2003.

The Hepatitis C Trust welcomed the new payment scheme and support measures.

Its chief executive, Charles Gore, described the situation in the 1970s and 80s as a "serious tragedy" and said: "While this in no way mitigates the mistakes made, that its gravity is finally being recognised by government is very significant for all affected."

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