CAMPAIGNERS have welcomed the news that a review of payments to victims of a “bad blood” scandal has been brought forward by four years.

The Government announced yesterday that it will look at the Skipton Fund, which compensates those who contracted Hepatitis C, this year.

Local campaigners include David Fielding, of Farnworth, who is a victim of the scandal, and Dr Brian Iddon MP, who represents Bolton South East.

Mr Fielding, aged 54, needed a liver transplant after contracting hepatitis B and C. His brother Brian died in 1990 at the age of 46, after being infected with HIV.

The pair were among 4,500 people affected in the 1970s and 1980s.

Around 2,000 of the group have since died as a result of the bad blood.

Campaigners have been fighting for justice ever since, claiming a public inquiry by Lord Archer, which recommended better compensation for all victims and a committee to advise on haemophilia, has been largely ignored by the Government.

Ministers only promised to increase payments to individuals with HIV, provide extra funding for the Haemophilia Society and review financial help for people with hepatitis C in 2014.

Attempts to get a Contaminated Blood Bill through Parliament, to implement all the recommendations, have so far failed.

Mr Fielding said: “I’m glad the Government is going to bring forward the review but we still have to wait to see what form this will take and what it will mean.

“There is a lot of uncertainty and I worry it will still come too late as we lose one or two people a month.”

Dr Iddon, who has been campaigning on the behalf of victims, said: "I am very pleased because now the review might listen to our calls for there to be a level playing field.

“We have been working very hard for a long time on this fight and now the minister has said the review will happen this year."