A WEST Cumbrian man who was left a victim of the 'infected blood scandal' whilst being treated for leukaemia as a teenager said it has 'ruined his life', as he calls on government to take more action in compensating victims.

Stuart Hall from Stainburn in Workington was infected with hepatitis C infected blood via blood transfusions whilst undergoing treatment for leukaemia in the 1980s.

The retired local government officer was told in the early 1990s he had been infected with the virus which, over the years, has led the 57-year-old to develop liver cancer and later cirrhosis of the liver, until he had a full liver transplant in 2021.

Times and Star: Stuart just after undergoing treatment for Leukaemia Stuart just after undergoing treatment for Leukaemia (Image: Supplied)

Talking about the situation, Stuart said: "It's devastating, absolutely devastating. It has ruined my life definitely, because from 1984 I was concerned with the leukaemia and would I relapse.

"I haven't relapsed once. You go through all that and kind of get to all the end of that process and think, 'I'm sorted'... and then the bombshell letter comes through the door saying we think you might been infected with hepatitis C.

"You start living another concern, another worry, always thinking every time you go for an appointment to do your bloods. You're living with that for decades and it's a hard way to live because it has a real mental toll."

Times and Star: Stuart after undergoing his liver transplant in 2021Stuart after undergoing his liver transplant in 2021 (Image: Supplied)

Over 30,000 people in the UK are believed to have been infected with HIV or hepatitis C from contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 80s, with estimates that around 3,000 have died.

Stuart said he had 'no idea' that other people had been victims of this situation at the time of his diagnosis. He said: "I had no idea what hepatitis C was. You've just got over dealing with one thing (the leukaemia) and then you have this to face, and it's what potentially could happen, because there was no real treatment options back in 1995.

"I had no idea at the time and even after I was infected I still didn't know because the information wasn't out there in the mid 90s. The internet was only in its infancy really, but since the public enquiry has started and you start getting a little more involved, that's when you start reading other people's stories and the cover ups of governments shying away from it."

Times and Star: Stuart and his wife Julie at a family wedding.Stuart and his wife Julie at a family wedding. (Image: Supplied)

The former local government officer is calling on the government to provide compensation to the victims urgently, after what he says is a delay. 

Stuart said: "It's extremely frustrating and it does have a mental toll on you because you are living looking at social media and any snippet of information the government might be doing things... it's hard work.

"I really do feel that some of the tactics they are using are delaying tactics. We know that there is a general election this year and the Conservative government aren't doing well in the polls... I think they are trying to avoid making a commitment to it."

The ongoing Infected Blood Inquiry is due to publish its final report in May.

Last week, the Government set out the terms of reference for the group appointed to advise ministers on compensation for victims of the scandal.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Cabinet Office minister John Glen said: “I recognise the distress is widespread, it’s felt across individuals and families across the United Kingdom.

“My officials are working with prominent charities, organisations and support groups. I’m reaching out to them to share progress, to reassure the community I’ve heard their concerns, and seek their views in advance of May 20. I’m doing that out of deep respect for the suffering that they’ve experienced.”