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Ex pupil sues school

After learning that students were being treated as medical guinea pigs, a victim of the infected-blood scandal is suing the school where he contracted both HIV and hepatitis C.

Fifty-six-year-old Gary Webster is taking the action against the Lord Mayor Treloar College in Hampshire (known as Treloars) for negligence and breach of statutory duty in the '70s and '80s.

Evidence emerged during the ongoing inquiry that without their, or their parent's knowledge, blood products were being tested on pupils. Mr Webster said: “It’s come out that trials and research was done without any knowledge of the people it was being done to or their parents. We were children.”

Some 90 of the boys who went to Treloar’s, along with Mr Webster, have died. Mr Webster is one of just 32 alive today. They are among the almost 4,000 people with haemophilia in the UK who were infected with HIV and hepatitis C in the biggest treatment disaster in NHS history.

Thousands of haemophiliacs were treated with a plasma concentrate that helped their blood clot called Factor 8 - which was often infected with viruses. The scandal is being investigated by the Infected Blood Inquiry, which heard a week of evidence against Treloar’s in June. “The headmaster and the people in power at the school should have done more. They were acting as our parents. My parents didn’t know what treatment I was on, that I was on trials, only if I told them.” Mr Webster said.

Further evidence from pharmaceutical company Speywood Laboratories confirmed that children at Treloar’s were used to test new blood plasma products from America. This seemingly confirmed the suspicion, long-held by ex-pupils, that medical products were tested on them. For now, Mr Webster is the only student taking action, but his fellow alumni and members of the Tainted Blood campaign group are supportive.

Mr Webster stated that the school said it was unable to comment because this could be subject to a formal claim. He added that he would like the school to create a memorial for the people who died after going there.


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