Contaminated blood inquiry: “People should go to jail” says Wythenshawe victim
A public inquiry into contaminated blood leading to the deaths of thousands of people has been welcomed by a Wythenshawe victim who has called for perpetrators to be jailed over the scandal.
A recent parliamentary report found that about 7,500 patients, who had been given blood transfusions were infected by imported blood products contaminated with plasma from donors including prison inmates in the US, who sold their blood.
More than 2,400 people have died from Hepatitis and HIV caused by the blood contamination.
As previously reported by the Wythenshawe Reporter, two of the victims are Fred Bates and Peter Mossman, both from Wythenshawe.
And the government has announced a public inquiry will be launched to get to the bottom of the cause of the scandal more than 30 years ago, described as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.
Haemophiliac, Fred Bates from Wythenshawe, who has hepatitis after being treated with contaminated blood in the 1980s, welcomed the inquiry, having also lost two members of his family to HIV and hepatitis as a result of the contamination.
He says he is ready to give evidence in the inquiry, claiming his own medical records have been changed. He says he has been told by doctors that they have been told to keep quiet about the scandal and has called for custodial sentences for anyone found to have committed offences.
The blood products administered to Mr Bates and Peter Mossman came with a warning leaflet, but they, along with thousands of others in the UK who had received treatment were never told of the risks.
Because of treatment, the men’s bodies have been battered with an onslaught of viruses including hepatitis C, parvovirus and it is even possible they may be at risk from the NVCJD – the human form of mad cow disease.
Mr Bates told the Wythenshawe Reporter: “I was delighted the inquiry was announced although it would have been nice if it had been the victims had known about it first.
“This has ruined my life. Doctors and the department of health should be brought to account. Criminal charges should be brought and people should go to jail.
“It is mass murder. When doctors knew they were giving you a product that would affect you and possibly kill you… this inquiry will I think be justified.
“They should have had the inquiry years ago. All governments have let people down. It needs to be done in six months – don’t let it drag out for years. Get all the evidence brought forward.
“We know doctors have been threatened to keep their mouths shut – we’ve spoken to doctors who have told us this. We know of cases of people who have had their notes and a medical person has asked to have a look at them again and when they’ve got them back they’ve been edited.
“I read my medical records about 10 years ago and there was stuff in that that I didn’t even know about. The trials that I did weren’t even in it. So we know records have been tampered with and doctors are reluctant to release them anyway – but now they are going to have to.
“”I will certainly give evidence. Two members of my family , an uncle and cousin, have died from HIV and hepatitis C and if I didn’t give evidence in the inquiry I would be letting them down. When the Manor House Group was set up there was about 160 on the panel and now there are about five still alive and a lot of the people lost are my friends made in the course of the campaign.”
Mr Bates paid tribute to the late Wythenshawe MP Paul Goggins who arranged a meeting between members of the Manor House Group campaigning for justice for vicims with Andy Burnham when he was the secretary of state for health. Now Greater Manchester Mayor, Mr Burnham has led calls for ta Hillsborough-style inquiry. It is thought that one reason the inquiry was announced was because he had threatened to take evidence of wrongdoing to the police.
Mr Burnham claimed in the Commons when he was an MP that a “criminal cover-up on an industrial scale” had taken place.