News & press releases

Contaminated Blood Scandal Inquiry

July 5, 2018

This week the Minister of State for the Cabinet Office announced that the inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal will begin. The contaminated blood scandal has resulted in the death of at least 2,400 people to date, including 70 in Wales. It is difficult for any us to comprehend the massive implications for those affected and their families who, thirty years ago, were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C from contaminated blood used in transfusions and other blood treatments. The patients and their families trusted our NHS, and they were let down. Severe mistakes were made, and yet, they have never received the acknowledgement, investigation and explanation that, at the very least, they are entitled to.

Three decades later and finally, after repeated calls, on July 11th, 2017, the Prime Minister committed to an inquiry into the Contaminated Blood Scandal. Being a member of the APPG on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood I know that this announcement gave victims and their families hope, but that it was also tinged with sadness as so many campaigners have passed away.

That is why I am pleased the Government has finally listened to campaigning groups, such as Haemophilia Wales, who have repeatedly highlighted the need for speed in this process. I welcome the Government’s statement and note the willingness expressed by the Department to provide the resources needed to hold this inquiry properly. I am pleased that this inquiry will be UK wide to ensure everyone can feed into the questioning.

There are a lot of questions which need to be answered.

As the inquiry gets underway, I want to reiterate campaigners calls for the UK Government to increase its pace and, in the process, keep an open channel of communication with everyone involved. The Government needs to understand that there is a lot of frustration about the lack of transparency over the past year since the Prime Minister’s announcement.

In addition, it is also very important that Parliament should receive regular updates from the Minister for the Cabinet Office, so that Members of Parliament can hold the Government to account on behalf of their constituents who have been affected by this scandal.

Finally, it is vital that the resources promised by the Government include provisions proper legal representation, as well as access to counselling and mental health support.

The time has come for the victims, their loved ones, and those who have taken on the fight on behalf of those who have passed away, to receive the justice that they so need and deserve.

Lynne Kelly, chairwoman of Haemophilia Wales, is urging all victims to come forward to please get in touch with them at www.haemophiliawales.org