NHS infected Dagenham dad with Aids - now government offers ‘91p a day’ payoff
- Credit: Archant
The family of a Dagenham father who was infected with Aids by NHS blood products have denounced a government scheme that offers just ‘91p a day’ in recognition of his tragic death.
As one of his final acts as Prime Minister last week David Cameron revealed how £125million will be spent to help people affected by the contaminated blood scandal at his last ever Prime Minister’s Questions.
Mr Cameron unveiled details of a new payments scheme for thousands of people who were infected with hepatitis C (hep C) or HIV through treatment with NHS blood products.
But the family of Barry Farrugia, who lived in Whitebarn Lane and died from Aids aged just 37 in 1986, has condemned the scheme.
Barry’s twin sons Tony and David, who were taken into care following his death, will receive nothing and his widow will be paid £10,000.
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Tony, 44, said: “Paying someone £10,000 for the loss of a loved one - the loss of my dad, that’s 91p a day for the 30 years since he died.
“That wouldn’t even pay for the cost of a funeral, a decent burial, today. That’s all the widows are getting and it’s disgusting.”
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Barry is one of at least 2,000 people who have died after being infected by blood products used by the NHS up until 1991, some sourced from high risk donors such as prisoners and drug addicts in America.
The dead Farrugia brothers were all haemophiliacs and needed treatment to help their blood clot.
Tragically this meant they were regularly exposed to blood products riddled with the killer viruses.
The government has never paid compensation to the children of those whose lives were lost and Barry’s five sons are entitled to nothing under the revamped scheme.
“The children of the dead are completely overlooked and that’s my issue,” said Tony, who was 14 when his dad died.
Mr Cameron said the new system of payments was “much fairer and more comprehensive”.
But campaign groups have called the scheme “insulting and miserly” saying it compares unfavourably to arrangements for contaminated blood victims in Scotland.
The group Tainted Blood said: “The government’s consultation response has just come in and we’re thoroughly disgusted with it.”
In his speech Mr Cameron apologised for the scandal saying “it should never have happened”.