Infected blood scandal: Yorkshire man takes legal action against school after contracting HIV

A man from North Yorkshire is taking legal action against his former school after he was given contaminated blood in the 1970s and 80s.

Richard Warwick is one of 36 claimants who is seeking damages from Lord Mayor Treloar School in Hampshire after receiving blood infected with hepatitis and HIV, while being treated at the school for haemophilia.

Collins Solicitors, which is representing the group, said at least 72 former pupils died after they were infected and the boarding school failed in its duty of care.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Mr Warwick, a 56-year-old from Scarborough, said he contracted HIV and hepatitis B and C when he attended Treloars between 1976 and 1982.

Richard Warwick giving evidence to the Infected Blood Inquiry in 2019

He said: “It isn’t about money, it’s about the fact that they did this to us. They undertook these trials and this medical research on us without our consent and without our parents’ consent.

“This is about getting to the bottom of what happened. So many of our friends have died.”

He added: “Our parents didn’t send us to the school to be researched. They sent us to the school so that we could have an education and have our health looked after by the team at the haemophilia centre there.”

Read More

Read More
Use of 'slaughter on suspcion' at farm during bird flu outbreak condemned

The pupils were given a factor VIII clotting agent, which was imported from several countries, and it was administered at a specialist NHS centre on the school site.

It was created from pooled plasma from thousands of donors and batches were widely contaminated with hepatitis A, B, C and HIV.

Former pupils decided to take legal action after evidence was brought to light during The Infected Blood Inquiry, which is chaired by Sir Brian Langstaff.

It is currently examining how thousands of patients were infected through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s. About 2,400 of them died in what has been labelled the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

Des Collins, senior partner at Collins Solicitors, said: “The extraordinary testimonies of Treloar’s former headmaster, house master, care staff and clinicians at the hospital attached to the school made clear a total abrogation of responsibility which has had immense repercussions.

“The harrowing stories from surviving pupils describing their suffering over the decades makes for deeply uncomfortable listening. Where were even the most basic of safeguards for these children when they were pumped full of blood products of clearly dubious origin?”

A school spokeswoman said: “We are truly saddened that around 100 of our former pupils are amongst the 4,500 men, women and children across the UK who were infected with hepatitis and/or HIV from infected blood products supplied within the NHS treatment programme.

“We are unable to comment on the legal action taken against Treloar’s at this point, but we will continue to cooperate with the public inquiry into these issues and await its outcome.”