East Hampshire MP Damian Hinds has backed a recommendation for victims of the infected blood scandal – including many former pupils of Treloar’s in Alton – to be given “substantial interim payments” now rather than waiting for compensation figures to be confirmed.

In a statement on the compensation recommendations of the Infected Blood Inquiry, Mr Hinds said: “I welcome the work of the Infected Blood Inquiry to examine why men, women and children in the UK were given infected blood and/or infected blood products; the impact on their families; how the authorities (including government) responded; the nature of any support provided following infection; questions of consent; and whether there was a cover-up.

“That work is ongoing. In the meantime, Sir Robert Francis QC has recently published his recommendations for a framework for compensation and redress for the victims of this scandal.

“It is generally understood that the full detail of a compensation scheme cannot be finalised until the conclusion of the inquiry. I wish though to state my support for Sir Robert’s recommendation that the government should immediately consider offering a standard figure by way of substantial interim payments, on account of awards likely to be made under the scheme, to infected persons currently in receipt of support under any support scheme.

“I have received casework relating to this for the entirety of the last 12 years and, sadly, many of the infected community fear that they have not got long to live. It can only be hoped that this is not the case, given the improved availability of life prolonging treatments, but many victims have already died. I would not wish to see more victims die without the reassurance of knowing there is compensation available to pass on to their families.”