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Story of Norfolk contaminated blood victim to be told on BBC One’s Panorama

PUBLISHED: 15:12 10 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:34 10 May 2017

Michelle Tolley was diagnosed with Hep C, 28 years after being given contaminated blood. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Michelle Tolley was diagnosed with Hep C, 28 years after being given contaminated blood. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

ARCHANT NORFOLK

Victims of the contaminated blood scandal, including a Norfolk mother, will appear on BBC One’s flagship investigative show Panorama tonight.

More than 2,000 people died and thousands more were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C after being treated with contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s, in what Lord Robert Winston described as the “worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.”

But survivors and their families are still trying to persuade the Government to hold a public inquiry.

According to the BBC, the show will examine recently released documents, and ask if the government could have done more to save lives.

The stories of victims of the scandal, which have been covered over the last two years in this newspaper, will include Michelle Tolley from Sparham.

The 52-year-old mother was infected with Hepatitis C after a blood transfusion while giving birth in 1987, but she was not diagnosed with the illness for 28 years.

“I’m really hoping it will help get some answers for us,” she said. “I struggle to put into words how scandalous it is.”

She said speaking out about Hepatitis C had helped her cope.

Thousands of people with haemophilia were also infected when they were given contaminated blood products.

TaintedBlood campaigns for the victims and families of those victims.

Andy Evans, chairman of the group, said: “We hope that this will be a watershed moment for our 30-year long campaign, and will ultimately force the Government to initiate either a statutory or a Hillsborough-style inquiry into this scandal – the cause of 2,500 haemophiliac deaths in the United Kingdom.”

In his final speech in the House of Commons last week, Labour’s former health secretary Andy Burnham alleged “criminal acts” had been committed against patients.

He said he would take his evidence to police if the government did not set up a “Hillsborough-style inquiry.” But health minister Nicola Blackwood rejected calls for a fresh inquiry.

Contaminated Blood: The Search for the Truth will be broadcast tonight at 9pm on BBC One.

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