The Infected Blood Inquiry has announced that it has delayed the publication of its final report until March 2024.
Responding to the announcement, Rachel Halford, CEO of The Hepatitis C Trust, said:
“The infected blood scandal is one of the greatest tragedies of our time. Almost 30,000 people were given hepatitis C through NHS blood and blood products, and many thousands of these people have since died.
“We understand the need to ensure all evidence is closely examined, and without doubt those facing ‘explicit or significant criticism’ will require warning letters. It is, however, extremely disappointing to face yet another delay on the road to justice for all of the people affected. We are very concerned about the impact this will have on the mental health and wellbeing of a group of people who have already been badly let down by successive governments for more than 50 years.
“Today we are urging the Government to stop dragging its feet and to take action to right these historic wrongs. There is no need to wait for the publication of the Inquiry’s final report. The Inquiry has already recommended that the Government immediately establish a full compensation scheme, and extend interim compensation to people not previously eligible for financial support, including to the people given hepatitis C through blood transfusions after 1991 and to the parents whose children died as a result of this scandal. The Government must act now.”