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There is no justice in blood row; Widow won't meet minister.

Byline: HELEN RAE

A WOMAN whose husband died after receiving NHS contaminated blood refused to meet Public Health Minister Anne Milton, insisting the Government had continuously failed those affected by the scandal.

Carol Grayson, of Jesmond, Newcastle, has been at the forefront in the fight for compensation for those left with diseases from NHS blood transfusions after she lost her haemophiliac husband Peter to HIV in 2005. But the former nurse turned down the opportunity to travel to London yesterday to meet with the minister as a group of campaigners urged for increased support for those affected by the tragedy.

The 51-year-old said: "I was invited to go to the meeting but I refused to attend because I do not believe in the system and I didn't want to waste my money, time and effort.

"I will not sit in a room where people pretend to listen, nod politely and then fail to act appropriately on issues discussed.

"There has not been justice for haemophiliacs themselves and gender discrimination in terms of lack of justice for widows and carers is rampant."

The meeting at Richmond House came after the publication of a report at the beginning of the year, following a Government review into support for those who have contracted Hepatitis C from contaminated blood and blood products.

Campaigners said the review did not take into account the mass infections that those with bleeding disorders such as haemophilia, have been exposed to for decades. Some 4,670 haemophiliacs who received blood transfusions in the 1970s and 1980s were infected with hepatitis C - with 1,243 also being infected with HIV.

Campaign group Taintedblood presented Ms Milton with a full dossier of evidence supporting the call for a complete overhaul of support for all victims.

In January, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced that hundreds of victims of the "tainted blood" scandal would be entitled to increased compensation by a pounds 130m package of support. But those infected have been campaigning for payments to be assessed in the same way as in the Irish Republic, where payouts are much higher.

CAPTION(S):

ANGER Carol Grayson lost her haemophiliac husband Peter Longstaff in 2005 to HIV after he was contaminated following a blood transfusion
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jun 30, 2011
Words:371
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