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Hepatitis C victim vows to fight on for compensation

PUBLISHED: 18:00 12 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:38 02 July 2010

Michael Colyer who is a haemophiliac and sufferers from Hepatitis C.

Michael Colyer who is a haemophiliac and sufferers from Hepatitis C.

David Bale

A Norwich man who was infected with hepatitis C after receiving contaminated blood products said today he would continue to fight for a fair deal for victims of the blunder - despite the government kicking a bill addressing the injustice into touch until after the general election.

A Norwich man who was infected with hepatitis C after receiving contaminated blood products said today he would continue to fight for a fair deal for victims of the blunder - despite the government kicking a bill addressing the injustice into touch until after the general election.

Michael Colyer , 57, from Colman Road, was one of thousands of haemophiliacs who became infected from an anti-blood clotting agent used in hospitals from 1960 to the early 1980s.

At least 2,000 haemophiliacs have died since the mistake and it has been described as a “horrific human tragedy”, but victims and their families have spent more than 20 years trying to get answers and adequate compensation.

Last year a long-awaited independent report into the tragedy was released by Lord Archer of Sandwell but the Contaminated Blood (Support for Infected Persons) Bill, based on the report and offering a fair deal for those contaminated in the blood disaster, was again blocked in Parliament this year.

Mr Colyer said: “The government has now blocked it five times at the second reading stage, but I will not give up fighting this injustice - to the bitter end. We will go on and on until it's resolved.

“We would not be crowing on as much about it, if this was not so very serious. We are dying off at the rate of one per month, so we cannot wait much longer. If we give up now, it would have been pointless starting the fight 25 years ago.”

Meanwhile, the government announced earlier this month that the review date for the Skipton Fund, which makes payments to those infected with hepatitis C through contaminated NHS supplied blood, blood products and tissues, was to be brought forward from 2014.

But Haemophilia Society chairman Liz Rizzuto said: “The government statement brings not one penny of new support to arguably the most needy minority in Britain today. We hope that people across the country will join in our protest about this unsatisfactory response to the worst ever treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

“Our fight will go on for as long as it takes to bring adequate support for the afflicted and the bereaved of this tragic disaster.”

Hepatitis C causes severe inflammation of the liver.

The NHS bought blood from US suppliers who used what became known as “skid row” donors such as prison inmates who were more likely to have HIV and hepatitis C.

Are you fighting for compensation from the government? Ring reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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