VICTIMS and families of patients affected by the contaminated blood scandal have won a ruling allowing them to sue the Government for compensation.

The scandal involved haemophiliacs and other patients being infected with hepatitis C and HIV from blood products during the 1970s and 1980s.

Many of those who died as well as survivors facing debilitating health problems today were treated at the Oxford Haemophilia Centre at the Churchill Hospital.

This afternoon a High Court judge granted a group litigation order allowing around 500 victims and relatives of those who have been killed to begin legal proceedings.

A High Court official said it was 'appropriate' to immediately issue a group litigation order allowing a potential 500 claimants – surviving victims of contamination and the families of the deceased – to join together to claim compensation.

The official, Senior Master Fontaine, made the order despite opposition from lawyers acting for the Department of Health who argued the application was 'premature'.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail in May, a father-of-three who was infected with hepatitis from contaminated blood was haemophiliacs had been 'fobbed off and forgotten'. 

Neil Weller, of Southmoor, near Abingdon, is among 7,500 people who were infected with either hepatitis C or HIV in the 1970s and 1980s as a result of tainted blood products