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'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

Barry Farrugia died after contracting HIV from contaminated NHS blood products

Barry Farrugia died after contracting HIV from contaminated NHS blood products

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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".

Barry with his youngest son shortly before his death from Aids in 1986Barry with his youngest son shortly before his death from Aids in 1986

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 Farrugia's sons. They will not receive compensation for his death under the current government schemeBarry Farrugia's sons. They will not receive compensation for his death under the current government scheme

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.

Tony Farrugia stands alongside his twin brother and family and friends wearing red body paint at a protest over the blood scandal earlier this yearTony Farrugia stands alongside his twin brother and family and friends wearing red body paint at a protest over the blood scandal earlier this year

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.

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