Infected Blood Inquiry appoints intermediaries to enable confidential evidence gathering

The Infected Blood Inquiry has appointed three trained professionals to assist in collecting evidence and producing narrative summaries.

The announcement comes after many people told the Inquiry that stigma attached to their experiences makes providing witness statements or oral testimony difficult.

After visiting those who request their support, the intermediaries will submit reports to the Inquiry that summarise multiple people’s experiences. To ensure confidentiality, they will not reveal the identities of people they have spoken to. These accounts will then be published alongside the rest of the evidence and read during the Inquiry’s hearings.

The newly appointed intermediaries, Jackie Wilson, Pam Allen and Kay Durrant, have experience in social care and policing, and in supporting people to share painful or traumatic personal accounts. They will soon begin contacting people who have requested their support in providing evidence to the Inquiry.

Chair to the Inquiry, Sir Brian Langstaff, said:

“The work of these intermediaries will be especially appropriate for anyone who does not wish to take the time to give a full detailed written account or who may find that process too upsetting for all sorts of reasons. It would be a pity if what they had to say remained unheard and I wanted the Inquiry’s processes to enable them to be heard, despite those difficulties.

“The intermediaries will be their voice to the Inquiry and be able to present a narrative account of their findings once they have seen all of those who wish to contribute in this way. It will also allow those who may only wish to contribute one or two points or who have limited knowledge of their or their family’s experiences to play a part in the Inquiry.”

If you would like to speak to an intermediary and have not yet expressed interest in providing evidence, you can speak to the Inquiry Team on freephone 0808 169 1377, complete the Inquiry’s short form, or email contact@infectedbloodinquiry.org.uk.

If you have any concerns around hepatitis C and infected blood, The Hepatitis C Trust’s confidential helpline is open Monday-Friday from 10.30am-4.30pm and is staffed solely by people who have themselves been affected by hepatitis C. You can call the helpline on 020 7089 6221. Alternatively, you can email helpline@hepctrust.org.uk.