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Polluted blood victims in England get more money as a public query begins

The victims of a contaminated blood scandal in England will receive more money, as the government said.

Thousands of hemophiliacs and other hospital patients in the 1970s and 1980s received hepatitis C and HIV-infected blood products, resulting in about 2,400 deaths.

Given that a hearing in central London began on Tuesday, the government announced that more money would be spent on the thousands of people affected by the medical disaster in England.

"This will see regular annual payments for some of those infected to substantially increase, from a total of £ 46 million to £ 75 million," said the Department of Health and Welfare (DHSC).

Other survivors of the victims will also be entitled.

Prime Minister Theresa May said: "The contaminated blood scandal was a tragedy that should never happen and cause unimaginable pain and injury to victims and their families for decades.

"I know that this will be a difficult time for victims and their families – but today a path will be taken to get the truth of what has happened and to do justice to all those involved."

Infected blood programs were established in 2017 – with country-specific programs in Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

The increase in funding "builds on extensive disability consultations and recognizes the differences that existed across systems", added DHSC.

The investigation of infected blood will be heard from the victims at a hearing at the Fleetbank House in central London before similar testimony takes place in the following months in Belfast, Leeds, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

The investigation is chaired by former Supreme Court Judge Sir Brian Langstaff.

Sir Brian said: "As I promised at the beginning, people and their experiences are at the heart of this investigation and that the investigation honors their commitment to be heard in the major centers across the UK from those who are infected with blood or blood products and those who are disabled.

"I have no doubt that their testimony will be not only annoying but also a powerful tool to help get to the truth of what has happened."

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