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CONTAMINATED BLOOD SCANDAL

Contaminated blood scandal campaigners are furious after important documents relating to central issues in the treatment disaster - including how the HIV and hepatitis viruses could be vulnerable to heat - were marked as "irrelevant".

The wife of a contaminated blood scandal victim told the ongoing public inquiry into the issue that the fallout from her husband's 30 years of illness almost led to her own suicide.

Yet another victim of the contaminated blood scandal has slammed the way support schemes even now fail to recognise the trauma of being infected with a killer virus by the NHS.

A letter from Royal Free Hospital staff to Colette Wintle's then GP in 1984 shows hospital staff were aware some products were safer than others for treating haemophiliacs, but didn't stop using the riskier treatments.

Giving evidence at the Infected Blood Inquiry on Thursday, Highgate's Della Ryness-Hirsch, 75, said her son Nick grew to be "so, so frightened" of the Royal Free Hospital during the 1990s, where she said staff were "so without care".

A former Crouch End resident who contracted HIV after her husband was given contaminated blood products in the 1980s told an inquiry on Thursday they had been co-erced into "signing away our home" by a charitable trust set up to help those affected by the scandal.

The long-awaited independent public inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal - which affected more than three hundred patients at Hampstead's Royal Free Hospital between 1979 and 1985 - heard its first oral evidence today.

Former Royal Free patients who were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C by being given contaminated blood spoke at an emotionally charged independent public inquiry that began today - after a wait that has lasted decades.

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