GOVERNMENT cover up of a NHS blood scandal that killed hundreds has been exposed in a shocking new ITV documentary.
In Cold Blood is the work of award winning director Marcus Plowright, who was also behind the recent royal doc Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health.
This time Plowright explores the extraordinary haemophilia blood scandal in which thousands of British haemophiliacs were infected with Hepatitis C and HIV via infected blood products prescribed by the NHS.
The 90 minute show features interviews with victims' families including Colin and Denise Turton, whose son Lee died of AIDS aged 10 because he was given infected blood.
Also discussed is new evidence unearthed by Jason Evans, a campaigner who lost his father to HIV/AIDS and whose Freedom of Information requests reveal untold stories spanning 40 years, along with victims' personal testimony and the results of the filmmakers' forensic examination of Department of Health memos.
Handed out in the 1970s, this treatment for haemophilia known as Factor VIII was prescribed on the NHS – it infected over 1,300 people with HIV and more than 4,000 people with Hepatitis C.
Campaigners say the government knew the blood – bought over from drug addicts and prostitutes in the US – was contaminated and did nothing.
Evans commented: "I think when you look at this in terms of the numbers, thousands infected, well over 1,500 dead, when you compare it to all the other national disasters – Hillsborough, the Birmingham bombings, Grenfell – the scandal that happened with the Factor concentrates eclipses all of them combined.
"Yet it has never had that recognition."
The film explores what it calls a 'systematic cover up' by the government which saw key documents destroyed.
In 2000, the Department of Health carried out an internal inquiry into the loss of files.
They confirmed the destruction of 13 volumes of files containing minutes and background papers from advisers on the safety of the blood.
It concluded the decision was “arbitrary”, “plainly wrong” and most likely taken by an “inexperienced member of staff”.
The landmark film airs on ITV on Sunday September 27 at 10.20pm, in the same week as the public inquiry looking into this scandal reopens.
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