'Give compensation to family of Dagenham Aids dad infected by NHS' demands MP
PUBLISHED: 18:02 24 November 2016 | UPDATED: 18:52 24 November 2016
A former health minster today called for the family of a Dagenham dad who was infected with Aids by NHS blood products to be compensated for the “agonies of their loss”.
Alistair Burt MP raised the case of gas technician Barry Farrugia, of Whitebarn Lane, during a backbench debate on the contaminated blood scandal in the House of Commons.
The MP called for a “small amount of money” to be made available to recognise the impact of the 36-year-old’s horrific death from Aids in 1986.
Two of Barry’s brothers also died in the same treatment disaster that tore the family apart.
“Two young boys lost their father and two uncles, and were taken into care,” said Mr Burt. “Their lives were changed hugely because of that.
“There is no part of the scheme that fits the agonies that they went through, so I wonder whether there could be some recognition of that.”
His family will not receive a penny in compensation under a reformed government support scheme for victims of the contaminated blood disaster announced in January.
Barry’s son, Tony Farrugia, said the lack of recognition was an insult to the family’s suffering and thanked the MP for raising the case in Parliament.
“At the end of the day our anger is that they have never recognised what was done to our family,” he said.
“We’re asking for them to recognise the pain and damage done. We hope it doesn’t fall on deaf ears.”
Barry and his brothers were infected by blood products used to treat the blood clotting disorder haemophilia.
They are among 2,000 who have since lost their lives.
During the debate MPs made renewed calls for a “Hillsborough-style” inquiry into the treatment disaster.
Former health minister Mr Burt, who left office when Theresa May became prime minister this summer, called for the government to treat the blood scandal like a natural disaster or banking collapse.
He said the “drip drip” approach to looking after victims was not working, and that money could be found for big affairs such as natural disasters or a banking collapse.
“We have not been able to give this issue the same priority, and it cries out for it,” he added.
The government set out plans earlier this year for a reformed system of support for the thousands of people who were infected with HIV and hep C by blood products used by the NHS up until 1991, some sourced from high risk donors in America such as prisoners or drug addicts.
Prime Minister Theresa May said she would consider setting up a Hillsborough-style independent panel to shed light on the NHS scandal earlier this year.