A WORKINGTON man who was left a victim of the 'infected blood scandal' whilst being treated for leukaemia as a teenager has said he was 'very pleased' a major report released this week 'didn't pull any punches' as he encouraged the government to move forward with compensation for the victims.

The damning report into the infected blood scandal, released on Monday, May 20, found the infection of 30,000 people with HIV and hepatitis between 1970 and 1991 could have been largely avoided, with its author Sir Brian Langstaff saying that the scandal was 'no accident'.

On Monday evening, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made an apology to the victims on behalf of his government and those who had preceded him.

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.

In response to the report, he said: "I was very pleased with the report in that they didn't pull any punches. It was very damning. If you watched the apology from the Prime Minister, I was happy with that apology. I thought it was a good apology - it seemed sincere.

"So now what they need to do is continue on and deal with the compensation they have promised they will deal with.

"If I go back to 1995 when I first was diagnosed with Hepatitis C I didn't know much about it at that point. People were saying to me, 'are you going to sue the NHS or the government?' And my response was, 'why would I sue the NHS or the government for doing something when they were trying to save my life?' 

"I was totally oblivious as to how much was known back then."

Stuart said he had recently read that as far back as the 1970s, government were aware with issues around accepting blood donations from prisoners. He said: "It makes you incredibly angry that they did not do what they needed to have done. As Sir Brian Langstaff said, it was preventable if they had put screening measures in place but they didn't do that."

"It's important that they have given us that apology I think the affected community are very glad that they have finally got that apology."

He said that many of the victims had suffered 'financial hardship' due to the scandal as well as illness, saying: "It is important that the government offers and pays an appropriate amount of compensation to make some kind of recompense to the victims and affected people."