Woman given tainted NHS blood gets MP’s backing for new council home

Sally and Alan Vickers are keen to move out of their one-bedroom flat and have been supported by Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond
Sally and Alan Vickers are keen to move out of their one-bedroom flat and have been supported by Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond
  • Sally Vickers was given contaminated blood during a transfusion which has led to her having hepatitis C
  • Currently her and her husband are number 76 in the low medical needs housing list
  • MP Flick Drummond calling on council to rehouse the couple
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A WOMAN given contaminated blood by an NHS transfusion has been given backing by an MP to be moved into a better home before she dies.

Sally Vickers, 54, was infected with hepatitis C after she needed a blood transfusion as a 14-year-old at the former St Mary’s Blood Unit in Milton.

I am dying and just want to be comfortable

Sally Vickers

She was one of thousands of people to be infected in Britain through NHS blood product transfusions in the 1970s and ’80s, but did not find out until 2004 as the government did not screen for the virus until 1991.

As a result, Mrs Vickers has liver cirrhosis and currently lives with her 57-year-old husband Alan – who is also medically retired due to having a condition that causes his neck to crumble – in a one-bedroom flat in Railway View, Landport.

The couple have been waiting since January 2014 for a new council house and said they are number 76 on the medical low priority list.

Now the former communications officer for the Ministry of Defence has been supported by Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond in a bid to find a new home. Ms Drummond has written to housing officers at Portsmouth City Council and raised Mrs Vickers’ plight during a Westminster debate.

Ms Drummond said: ‘I am aware housing in Portsmouth is under immense pressure and the council is doing a difficult job juggling its resources.

‘But I do urge the council to look closely at rehousing Mrs Vickers and her husband as a matter of priority as I feel the couple really do need a larger home. She is a victim of one of this country’s worst treatment scandals.’

The council confirmed medical conditions are taken into serious consideration and housing is allocated according to these needs.

Mrs Vickers was born with a condition that causes her to have odd-shaped blood cells. Her blood condition at birth has also caused her spleen to enlarge so much that it could rupture.

She said: ‘We have medical notes to say because my husband is my carer and also has medical needs we need two rooms, so he can have respite and we both have space.

‘I am dying and I just want to be comfortable. Because of that contaminated blood transfusion I was robbed of the right to work – I was working before this happened.’