Victims of contaminated blood scandal denied financial support by arbitrary cut-off date


A woman infected with hepatitis C from contaminated blood has launched legal action after the government denied her financial support available to other victims despite accepting she was made sick by tainted blood.

Carolyn Challis told The Independent her life had been dramatically affected by the virus, which left her with debilitating fatigue and other symptoms meaning she couldn’t work and was left to look after three children.

With the help of lawyers from Leigh Day, she is bringing a judicial review against the Department of Health and Social Care, challenging what she believes is an arbitrary cut-off date for victims of the contaminated blood scandal to receive financial support including payments of a £20,000 sum and ongoing help.

The government has said only patients infected before September 1991 are eligible for the payments, but Ms Challis was infected at some stage between February 1992 and 1993 following three blood transfusions and a bone marrow transplant to treat Hodgkin’s Disease, a form of blood cancer.

The Hep C Trust told The Independent she was not the only person infected after 1991 and it has called for more widespread testing to identify what it warned was a hidden population of people infected with the virus, which can take 20 years to fully manifest itself in patients.



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