Government responds to Infected Blood Inquiry Chair on compensation framework report

The Paymaster General, Michael Ellis MP, has responded to a letter from the Infected Blood Inquiry chair Sir Brian Langstaff about the publication timetable for the Government’s now-completed study of options for an infected blood compensation framework.

Last week, Ellis confirmed that Sir Robert Francis QC, who led the Government’s study, had delivered his report to the Government and said he will now "carefully consider" Sir Robert's findings and recommendations, and intended to publish the Study and the Government response "in time for the Inquiry and its core participants to consider them before Sir Robert gives evidence to the Inquiry".

Sir Brian Langstaff’s letter to the minister responded that the report will need to be available no less than four weeks ahead of the hearing date to enable participants to read and discuss the proposals and allow core participants to suggest lines of questioning in the usual way. Sir Robert will be called to give evidence during the next session of the Inquiry, which runs from the week of 9 May to the week of 25 July.

Sir Brian’s letter had also suggested the Government may wish to delay publishing a formal response to Sir Robert's report until after he has appeared before the Inquiry, to avoid "those directly affected by its proposals [feeling] that decisions were being made about them behind closed doors without their input."

In his reply to Sir Brian, Ellis reiterates that before the compensation study is published, “work must be undertaken within Government to formalise our response, and I can confirm that work is already underway”. He adds that it is his intention to publish the report alongside the government’s response “as soon as possible”. You can read the reply here.

Sir Robert’s study is intended to set out how compensation will be paid, if it is recommended by the separate UK Infected Blood Inquiry, but not how much compensation should be paid to people.

If we can be a source of information or support on any of the issues raised by the Infected Blood Inquiry, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us on our helpline, 020 7089 6221 or by email to helpline@hepctrust.org.uk.