Infected Blood Interim Payments: contact your local MP

On July 29th the chair of the Infected Blood Inquiry Sir Brian Langstaff recommended that people affected by the infected blood scandal should now be offered interim compensation, if they are already registered with existing support schemes.

We are encouraging supporters of The Hepatitis C Trust to help us campaign for everyone affected by writing to your local MP and asking them to support the swift introduction of these payments for those impacted by the scandal, and to support compensation in general when the inquiry concludes next year.

How to find your local MP: type in your postcode at members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP and it will tell you your local MP and their email address.

How to address them: Their parliamentary profile will have a line just above the contact information saying “When contacting this Member, they should be addressed as…”.

Be aware that MPs’ inboxes are very busy so it can take some time for them to respond to constituent letters. If you do receive a response from them, it can be useful for The Hepatitis C Trust to know what MPs are saying on infected blood – if you are happy to do so, you can share replies with us at Samantha.May@hepctrust.org.uk.

Draft email:

Subject line: Support for immediate interim payments for Infected Blood

Dear [Term of Address],

You may have seen the recommendation made by the chair of the Infected Blood Inquiry that people affected by the infected blood scandal should now be offered interim compensation if they are already registered with existing support schemes. I am writing to you as one of your constituents to ask you to support both the swift introduction of these payments for those impacted by the scandal, and to support compensation in general when the inquiry concludes next year.

[Write about why infected blood is important to you here if you wish].

As you may know, the Infected Blood Inquiry is an independent public statutory Inquiry established to examine why people treated on the NHS were given infected blood products from 1970 until the early 1990s. In this time, thousands of people contracted hepatitis C and/or HIV through NHS blood or blood products, before the implementation of proper screening processes in the early 1990s.

On July 29th, the Inquiry Chair Sir Brian Langstaff QC published a Report on Interim Payments. It builds on Sir Robert Francis QC’s recommendation of an interim payment in his Government-commissioned review of infected blood compensation framework options, which Sir Brian calls a matter of “elementary justice”. Sir Brian recommends that an interim payment “should be paid, without delay, to all those infected and all bereaved partners currently registered on UK infected blood support schemes, and those who register between now and the inception of any future scheme; and that the amount should be no less than £100,000, as recommended by Sir Robert”.

Three former health secretaries from Labour and the Conservatives and both of the present candidates for prime minister have also backed the call for interim compensation to victims of the infected blood scandal. You can read the letter Sir Brain wrote to the Cabinet Office Minister accompanying the report here - the Minister invited the Chair to publish the report here, following Sir Brian’s letter here.

I hope you will support the call for justice for all those severely affected by this scandal and I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]