In response to Rishi Sunak’s evidence session at the Infected Blood Inquiry, The Hepatitis C Trust, a charity that has provided support to thousands of people affected by the contaminated blood scandal, have given the statement below.
Rachel Halford, CEO of The Hepatitis C Trust, said:
“More than three months have passed since Sir Brian Langstaff recommended that a compensation scheme for those affected by the contaminated blood scandal be set up and begin work this year. But listening to the evidence from Rishi Sunak and other senior politicians this week, we are no clearer about when this will happen and what the government plans to do next despite their insistence otherwise.
“This lack of clarity is now actively harming a community that has been let down by successive governments for more than 40 years. Our helpline has received almost 3,000 calls this year from people who contracted hepatitis C via blood transfusion, and their family members, expressing their frustration and despair as they are forced to continue to wait. But there is no time left. Thousands of people impacted by this scandal have already died without seeing justice delivered.
“We are calling on the government to implement the recommendations of the Infected Blood Inquiry without delay. Actions speak louder than words – especially for a community that has gotten so used to broken promises. The Government must immediately establish a full compensation scheme for those affected by the infected blood scandal and extend interim payments to groups that have not previously been eligible for financial support payments, such as bereaved parents, children and siblings and people who were given hepatitis C after September 1991.”