A HEALTH campaigner instrumental in securing an inquiry into contaminated blood has won a leading research prize.
Carol Grayson lost her haemophiliac husband Peter Longstaff after he contracted HIV and hepatitis C from infected NHS blood products in the 1970s and 1980s.
She was offered new hope last month when the findings of an independent inquiry into the scandal branded it the “the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS”.
Academics named her joint winner of the Michael Young Prize, a £3,000 research fund which she hopes will help continue the fight against the global sale of blood.
She also hopes to meet Health Secretary Alan Johnson and travel to the USA where “at risk donors” are still paid for their blood.
Ms Grayson, 49, of Jesmond, Newcastle, has dedicated the prize to her late husband Peter, brother-in-law Stephen and all haemophiliacs living and dead and their families.
“I was absolutely shocked when I had found out as it usually goes to people with a PhD, I didn’t even expect to be shortlisted,” she said.
“The funds will allow me to disseminate my research and use it in different ways.
“My own research into the contamination of our community with blood-borne viruses was conducted and written two years prior to the Archer Inquiry Report. I hope the two reports complement each other and strengthen our case for recognition and justice.”
The award aims to encourage early career researchers whose work offers new insights and impact on society.
Next week she will be part of a delegation travelling to 10 Downing Street to officially hand in the Archer Inquiry Report. The privately-funded report, heard by Lord Archer of Sandwell, criticised the “procrastination” that led to a blood contamination scandal.
Almost 2,000 haemophiliacs died after contracting HIV and hepatitis C.
The report suggested UK authorities had been slow to react, but accepted it was hard to directly apportion blame.
The Department of Health is looking into the findings of the report and its recommendations.