A WORCESTER man who has fought for justice for those who have been affected by the infected blood scandal has hailed today's damning report as 'bittersweet vindication.'

Andrew Evans, who said he was infected with HIV and Hepatitis C as a small child through his haemophilia treatment, is the co-founder and chair of Worcester-based Tainted Blood.

The organisation has been fighting for justice for those whose lives have been 'destroyed' by the scandal.

Mr Evans said: “The report supports everything we have campaigned for throughout the last four decades. 

"It is a bittersweet day for us that finally we have proof that we were right all along."

The infected blood inquiry's report said the scandal, dubbed the 'worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS' could have largely, and should have been avoided. 

The report also details the 'systemic, collective and individual failures' to deal ethically, appropriately, and quickly with the risk of infections being transmitted in blood, with the infections when the risk materialised, and the consequences for thousands of families.

Inquiry chair Sir Brian Langstaff added responsibility for many of the failings lied with successive governments, though others may share some of it.

The Infected Blood Inquiry was set up to look into the circumstances in which patients treated by the NHS between 1970 and the early 1990s received infected blood and blood products.

Over 30,000 people in the UK were given treatments infected with HIV and hepatitis C and over 3,000 people have died, according to the Hepatitis C Trust. 

Mr Evans spoke of how the scandal had affected families.

He said: “The infections that have decimated so many families were largely avoidable.

“It’s taken 40 years to get this far, which is time so many people did not have. 

"For those who have survived this far, the scandal has been an all-consuming blight on their lives. 

"For those who have died, they paid the ultimate price without ever seeing justice."

The report added: "Viewing the response of the NHS and government, the answer to the question 'was there a cover-up?' is that there has been. 

"Not in the sense of a handful of people plotting in an orchestrated conspiracy to mislead, but in a way that was more subtle, more pervasive and more chilling in its implications. 

"To save face and to save expense, there has been a hiding of much of the truth."

Recommendations include setting up a compensation scheme, which the Government says is in the process of happening through last month's Victims and Prisoners Bill amendment, protecting the safety of haemophilia care and giving patients a voice. 

Mr Langstaff said: "This disaster was not an accident- people put their faith in doctors and in the government to keep them safe and their trust was betrayed. 

"Tragically, the infections happened because those in authority did not put patient safety first."

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak later addressed the House of Commons and said the report marked a day of shame for the British state.

Mr Sunak added: "The report shows a decades-long moral failure at the heart of our national life, at every level, the people and institutions at which we place our trust failed in the most harrowing and devastating way. 

"They failed the victims and our families and they failed this country."