I have continued to press for the victims of the contaminated blood scandal – where people were given contaminated blood via the NHS during the 1970s and 80s – and we have secured another concession from the Government. Through our campaigning we have secured legal aid for those submitting evidence to the enquiry.
However, I wanted more details from the minister on if a cap would be in place. The minister said it was for the lawyers to decide what a reasonable level would be. I will continue to press for further details as we go forward as people need assurances that they will be supported through this difficult process.
The contaminated blood scandal, which took place in the NHS during the 1970s and early 1980s, has destroyed lives across the country and Delyn is no exception to that. I helped to create the All Party Parliamentary Group for Contaminated Blood – under the leadership of my colleague Diana Johnson MP – to ensure that those affected had a voice in parliament and to press the Government to go further than they otherwise would have done.
Before Christmas it was announced that an inquiry would be launched, finally giving the individuals and their families some form of justice and closure. But there have been worrying signs over the direction this inquiry is taking so today the All Party Group requested an Urgent Question on the Government’s plans.
I wanted assurances from the minister that the judge appointed to the inquiry would be full time and I also asked when this process of selection will be complete. Disappointingly the minister stated that she was unable to answer my question and will write to me in the future. Those who have been impacted by this scandal, and I, would have hoped for the Government to know basic questions like this. I will continue to press until clarity of position is made.
I welcomed the decision from the minority Government to address the contaminated blood scandal. This decision was announced yesterday after the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood, which I’m a member of, successfully secured an Urgent Debate on the floor of the House of Commons.
The contaminated blood scandal dates back over 45 years and in that time it is estimated that 2,500 people have so far died because of this failure. The cause of the scandal was the use of contaminated blood products – mainly sourced from the United States as the UK had a shortage of blood donors – which were administered to people who then became infected with blood viruses such Hepatitis C, HIV and a number of other life altering diseases.
The scandal took place in every nation of the UK and there has been a long campaign – including calls from the Welsh Assembly Government in January this year – for the UK Government to implement a UK wide inquiry. Read more “Contaminated Blood Scandal Inquiry”