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Anger over blood transfusion row

PUBLISHED: 05:05 18 January 2003 | UPDATED: 16:12 24 February 2010

A SUFFOLK MP has launched a scathing attack on an "inhumane" government department for ignoring the case of a constituent infected with a potentially life threatening disease during a blood transfusion.

A SUFFOLK MP has launched a scathing attack on an "inhumane" government department for ignoring the case of a constituent infected with a potentially life threatening disease during a blood transfusion.

Richard Spring, the Conservative MP for West Suffolk, yesterday described the inaction by Whitehall health officials over a compensation claim by Haverhill man Dominique Porche as "absolutely disgraceful" and "beyond belief."

Mr Porche was infected with hepatitis C following an operation to remove a bone growth from his forehead at Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, in 1988.

He has been unable to secure compensation from the Department of Health because he only found out he had the disease in 1996 – and did not lodge an application within 10 years of infection, as required by law.

Mr Spring, who secured a House of Commons debate in October to highlight Mr Porche's case, says his constituent was not told by officials in any tier of the NHS that he was entitled to compensation.

"After I initiated the debate in Parliament, the minister Hazel Blears offered the opportunity for me to correspond with her and take up specific issues surrounding this terrible saga," said Mr Spring, who has written to Ms Blears twice in the two months since the debate and received no response.

"I asked her to investigate why, at no point, was Mr Porche advised by any clinician about the possibility of a compensation claim. I find it absolutely disgraceful she has not even bothered to reply, when she knows how upset Mr Porche is.

"He really is in great distress, and is worried about his long-term health situation. I find this lack of response impossible, and am furious and frustrated."

Mr Porche, who has a three-year-old son and whose wife is pregnant with their second child, only discovered he was eligible for compensation after watching a television programme in 2001.

He now wants a change in the law, and to secure compensation for the sake of his family.

Mr Spring has vowed to continue the fight at the highest level on Mr Porche's behalf.

No-one from the Department of Health was available for comment last night.

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