Day 26-29 - Infected Blood Inquiry - Edinburgh

We attended the whole of the first week at the Conference Centre in Edinburgh.

As all who have borne witness to the patients' and families' testimonies so far will know, the accounts of peoples' experiences continue to be harrowing

Despite being well aware of the difficulties people faced having been involved in the Scottish Post Penrose Financial Review, we were still saddened to hear from people infected, their families or widows about the extent of the hardship and stigma they have endured over the last 30 years or so.

Each story, although individual, continues to have similar themes… lack of compassion, lack of information, incorrect information and all of that surrounded by stigma and silence. 

This from a public service that we are rightly proud of and trust with our lives.

One witness related how after giving birth she was segregated from her baby and placed in isolation. After a week was told she was being allowed to go home but with no explanation of what had gone wrong. When asked, the answer was simply “don’t worry, just be happy that you’re going home”.  It was years later that she received her diagnosis.

Another on the death of his haemophiliac son, found the media pack outside their home and could not even open the curtains. The news report headline read ‘34 year old unmarried man dies of gay plague’…

We continue to hope that when the Inquiry findings are published the UK government can find some way of making recompense for the injustices endured and that a situation like this can never happen again.

To read the transcripts of people’s testimony in Edinburgh, please click here.