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Contaminated blood inquiry to stop off in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 12:59 16 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:34 16 January 2020

Contaminated blood victim, Michelle Tolley of Sparham, who is playing a large part in the public inquiry into the scandal. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Contaminated blood victim, Michelle Tolley of Sparham, who is playing a large part in the public inquiry into the scandal. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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A high-level inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal in which thousands of people were given infected products is to stop off in Norwich.

Michelle Tolley speaking at the Infected Blood Inquiry in London. Photo: Infected Blood InquiryMichelle Tolley speaking at the Infected Blood Inquiry in London. Photo: Infected Blood Inquiry

Described as 'the worst tragedy in the history of the NHS' thousands of patients were given blood products contaminated with HIV and Hepatitis C in the 1970s and 80s.

Many have since died, but there is much anger amongst those still alive and the families of the victims about the lack of answers over how it happened and poor levels of compensation.

This newspaper has actively campaigned on behalf of those from this region who have been affected.

A public inquiry into the scandal began last year and, from Monday, will begin visiting locations across the country, stopping in Norwich on February 13.

The meeting is only open to those who have been infected or affected to find out the latest updates. Those who attend will be able to talk to the team and meet with other people participating in the inquiry.

Read more: 'We must make sure this never happens again' - probe will look at 'cover up' of NHS' worst scandal

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Norfolk grandmother and mother-of-four Michelle Tolley, from Sparham near Dereham, was given a blood transfusion for a haemorrhage after giving birth to her first child in 1987, and another during an emergency caesarean section when having twins in 1991. It was only in 2015 she was diagnosed with hepatitis C.

She said: "Someone dies every 96 hours. For me its not about compensation, I want to raise awareness, make people go and get checked. This is the worst tragedy in the history of the NHS.

"They gave us a death sentence and we didn't commit a crime. This a genocide, nearly 3,000 people have died. Someone needs to be accountable, I want the truth, I want justice, I want closure. I want to close it away and enjoy what life I have left."

Read more: 'Harrowing' evidence of contaminated blood victims comes to close

Some 4,800 people with haemophilia were infected with hepatitis C or HIV in the 1970s and 1980s. They were given contaminated blood products called Factor VIII or IX. The Sparham resident said she still felt 'angry' following the recent loss of friend and campaigner Peter Burney.

Factor 8 campaigner and founder Jason Evans, who lost his father in 1993 due to infected Factor VIII products, said the inquiry needed to call on politicians and NHS professionals of the time to speak in front of the inquiry and urged people to attend meetings.

Read more: Full statutory inquiry to be held into contaminated blood scandal

Anyone affected can contact the inquiry at www.infectedbloodinquiry.org.uk

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