On 22nd June MPs participated in a debate on the Infected Blood Inquiry. This saw many MPs call for urgent clarification from the Government on its plans to implement the Inquiry’s interim findings on compensation and redress for people affected.
Following the debate, The Hepatitis C Trust has again called for clarity from the Government on infected blood compensation.
Rachel Halford, Chief Executive at The Hepatitis C Trust, said: “In April, we strongly supported Sir Brian’s recommendation for the immediate establishment of a full compensation scheme for those affected by the infected blood scandal and the extension of interim payments to groups that have not previously being eligible for financial support payments, such as bereaved parents, children and siblings and those who were given hepatitis C after September 1991.
“Action must be taken now, rather than after the final report, and it is disappointing to hear that the Government has not yet taken a final decision on compensation. Those infected and affected as a result of the infected blood scandal have waited decades for justice. With more than 500 people affected by the scandal estimated to have died since the Inquiry began – in addition to the thousands who had already died – there is no time to waste in delivering compensation to surviving victims and others affected.”
Twenty MPs rose to speak in the debate, with many highlighting the work of campaigners and the experiences of people in their constituencies impacted by infected blood. Diana Johnson MP, co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood, concluded the debate by saying:
“I thank all the honourable Members for their contributions. They described so many individual cases, so many lives and so much suffering. The Minister has set out the Government’s position, but I respectfully say to him that it is not good enough. He said that the issue is complex—and yes, it is—but putting a man on the moon was complex, and we managed that. It seems to me that real political leadership to get this done is lacking. As I said in my opening remarks, the time is now. We are not going away, and Parliament spoke with one voice today. It is not good enough; action is needed now.”