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MP's Anger at Letter Snub

Monday, 20th January 2003.

MP Richard Spring has written a strongly-worded letter to Hazel Blears at the Department of Health, after failing to get any answers about the case of Haverhill man Dominique Porche and his compensation battle.

Mr Porche, 37, of Turner Close, Haverhill, contracted Hepatitis C after receiving a blood transfusion at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Mr Porche, whose wife is expecting their second child, has been refused compensation because he caught the virus more than 10 years ago.

Mr Porche only learned that he had the potentially deadly virus eight years ago, after being called back to hospital for tests. Although he has not yet shown any symptoms, Mr Porche could develop cirrhosis or other liver problems at any time. He has vowed to continue his battle for compensation.

Last October, Mr Spring raised the issue at an adjournment debate in the House of Commons, where he said Mr Porche had been treated "shabbily and unsympathetically" by the NHS because of the inflexibility of the 10-year rule.

At the time Ms Blears, an Under-Secretary of State in the Health Department, said she would look into the case if Mr Spring provided details.

In his letter to her this week, Mr Spring said he was "extremely shocked and disappointed" to have received neither the courtesy of an acknowledgement or a substantive reply to letters sent in October and December."This is a disgraceful way to treat a colleague who has written to you out of genuine concern for one of his constituents, who has had such a distressing experience and is still suffering.

"Words fail me that your department can behave in such a cavalier fashion. Would you kindly respond comprehensively by return," Mr Spring wrote.

Haverhill Weekly News

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