Victims and families affected by the tainted blood scandal must receive their £100,000 compensation packages “immediately”, their lawyer has said.
The chairman of the inquiry into the tragedy said the money should be paid to more than 2,000 surviving victims “without delay” and Des Collins, senior partner at Collins Solicitors, has demanded it be paid within 14 days.
Collins said Monday would increase pressure on the government.
He told BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight programme: “When I say immediately I don’t mean in three months, I mean immediately.
“It has to be in a few days or weeks.
“I would have said that 14 days is not an unreasonable amount of time for the wheels to be set in motion and that is what we will be asking for on Monday.”
In a letter to chief executive Michael Ellis on Friday, the inquiry’s chairman, Sir Brian Langstaff, said he made the compensation recommendation in light of the “profound physical and mental suffering” caused by the scandal.
The research was set up to examine how thousands of patients in the UK were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.
Around 2,400 people died in what has been described as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.
There are 2,007 main participants in the consultation who are infected or affected, but it is not known if all of these people will be able to receive compensation.
Research is still ongoing to arrive at estimates of the total number of surviving infected blood victims.
A Government spokesman said it would consider the former High Court judge’s report with “the utmost urgency” and “will respond as soon as possible”.
Former health secretary Matt Hancock has also said the government has a “moral duty” to compensate victims of infected blood and said he was “confident” it would do so.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Of course the Government must pay compensation as soon as possible…”
“I heard what the Cabinet Office said after being a minister, having been a Cabinet Office minister, my reading between the lines is that they’re going to get away with it pretty quickly.”
He urged whoever is the next prime minister to pay the compensation, saying: “My view is that when a government does an investigation like this, which we did well, then it is a moral duty of the state, of the government. , to pay compensation”.
The DHSC has been contacted for a response to Mr Collins’ comment.