Up to 30,000 people in Great Britain received contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s, and more than 3,000 died as a result. Now a report takes a ruthless stance against the government and doctors.

A scandal involving infected blood supplies in Great Britain with more than 3,000 deaths could have been largely avoided. An investigative report released Monday concluded there was a widespread cover-up to hide the truth. Government officials destroyed documents and patients were knowingly exposed to unacceptable infection risks.

The government is expected to award billions of pounds in compensation to victims. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wanted to apologize in Parliament on Monday. Victim groups welcomed the report.

In the biggest treatment scandal in the British NHS, up to 30,000 people received contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s. More than 3,000 people died after becoming infected with HIV or hepatitis C during blood transfusions or treatments.

The disaster was no coincidence, the head of the investigative commission, Brian Langstaff, told journalists. “People trusted doctors and the government to keep them safe, and that trust was betrayed.”

The more than 2,500-page report of the “Infected Blood Inquiry” denounces a “catalogue of failures.” The consequences were catastrophic not only for the infected people, but also for their families, said Langstaff. The catastrophe continues because patients who have suffered “life-destroying” infections continue to die every week.

Claims by various governments that patients received the best medical treatment at the time and blood tests were introduced at the earliest opportunity were untrue, Langstaff said. The truth had been concealed for decades and there was evidence that Ministry of Health documents had been marked for destruction.