Des Collins, Senior Partner, Collins Solicitors, legal advisor to over 1500 people affected by the contaminated blood scandal, responding to today’s Ministerial Statement by the Paymaster General, Penny Mordaunt, said:
“It’s been three and a half years to the day since the Court granted us permission to sue the Government on behalf of the thousands of families affected by the grossly negligent actions of the state in the 70s and 80s, leading to haemophiliacs and others being infected with HIV and Hepatitis from contaminated blood products.
“Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction. Whilst an uplift to the existing financial support provision, which provides short-term help to ease the suffering of the infected and affected, is welcomed, it regrettably still does not include everyone affected, such as parents of children who have died, or children who have lost parents as a result of this scandal.
“Regarding the compensation framework, we shall be making robust representations to the Independent Reviewer, as the consultation will only achieve its aim if the infected and affected are, with expert guidance, able to play a full part in the process. The government owes that to those who are still alive yet suffering after 40 years, and by way of demonstrating respect to those whose lives were prematurely ended at the hands of the state.
“We expect the compensation consultation to have been completed and the framework agreed in principle by the time the Infected Blood Inquiry reports next Summer so that there can be no delay in implementing Sir Brian Langstaff’s recommendations.”
25 March 2021
The Infected Blood Inquiry, chaired by Sir Brian Langstaff, is the UK’s largest ever statutory inquiry, established to investigate how men women and children were given infected blood and blood products by the NHS from the 1970s. It is currently continuing its hearings remotely which can be followed live on the Infected Blood Inquiry website/YouTube channel.