Today, the Infected Blood Inquiry has published its interim report, outlining Sir Brian Langstaff’s recommendations to the Government.
Sir Brian’s recommendations include:
- Compensation scheme to be set up now to begin work this year
- Compensation scheme to be established before the inquiry makes its final report
- Interim compensation payment of £100,000 to be extended to bereaved parents, children and siblings, unless a claim has already been made against an estate (see p60 of the report)
- Affected family members to be eligible to make their own individual claim (see p82 of the report)
- Chronic hepatitis B infections to be eligible for compensation
- Cut-off date for hepatitis C infections should be removed
- People who have naturally cleared hepatitis C who have ‘suffered loss’ to be included in eligibility for compensation. It is not clear yet what ‘suffered loss’ means
- Report does not set out any suggested amounts for financial awards, apart from interim compensation
- Report sets out categories for financial awards, to be administered by an independent, arms length body, accountable to parliament
- Rates of compensation to be based on advice from independent clinical and legal panels and set by the scheme
- Regular ex-gratia support payments should be guaranteed for life, backed by legislation
- A specialist psychological support service should be set up in England, to level up with services in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Rachel Halford, CEO of The Hepatitis C Trust, said:
“We warmly welcome the recommendations of Sir Brian Langstaff’s interim report. This is a clear call to action for the Government, which lays out the strong moral case for them to accept and compensate for the harm done to everyone affected by the contaminated blood scandal.
“In particular, including people given hepatitis C after September 1991, people with hepatitis B, and wider families in compensation is a hugely positive step.
“This interim report gives a clear response to the undeniable facts that individuals and families affected by the scandal have been and continue to be let down at every possible stage by consecutive governments.
“This Government now has the opportunity to right these wrongs and at last deliver justice to all those affected. As Sir Brian Langstaff has made clear, this action can and should be taken now. There is no need to wait for a final report from the Infected Blood Inquiry.
“For decades, people who received infected blood or blood products, and their loved ones, were stigmatised, vilified and disbelieved. Only their relentless campaigning to unearth the true scale of this scandal has made today’s report possible. They should not have to wait any longer.”
Read the report in full online.