Solicitors for victims of infected blood scandal call for clear and direct answers from Matt Hancock
Solicitors representing over 300 victims of the contaminated blood scandal have called on Health Secretary Matt Hancock to give clear and direct answers when he appears at the Infected Blood Public Inquiry on Friday afternoon (21 May).
Posted on 21 May 2021
The public inquiry has been running for over two years and has heard from many of those personally infected and affected.
Emma Jones and Beatrice Morgan, who represent hundreds of core participants in the inquiry, hope that the Health Secretary will use his appearance to reconfirm the commitment made by Penny Mordaunt to ensure that all of those individuals who have been infected and affected by contaminated blood will be properly and appropriately compensated to ensure that they will be put into the financial position they would have been in had they not been infected or affected through the contaminated blood scandal.
Penny Mordaunt’s recent announcement also confirmed that the four nations were working towards achieving parity across the schemes in order to address the significant differences in the support provided.
Emma Jones said:
“Matt Hancock has a real opportunity here to stop the government dragging its heels and provide adequate and appropriate support to those living with Hepatitis C and HIV due to infected blood and blood products, and those that have lost loved ones due to the scandal.
“We hope that he will be able to provide clear and direct answers to the many outstanding questions that remain.
“The government has shirked its responsibilities for far too long and it is time for them to openly admit their fault in acquiring the infected blood and blood products and make a solid commitment to everyone affected that they will provide an effective compensation scheme.”
Beatrice Morgan said:
“The recent announcement by Penny Morduant in relation to achieving parity across the schemes is welcomed but doesn’t go far enough. We look forward to Matt Hancock publicly recognising the impact of the infected blood scandal on those infected and affected and acknowledging the inadequacies of the current schemes.”
Recently, Sir Brian Langstaff, Chair to the Infected Blood Inquiry heard evidence from individuals involved with the original Trusts and Schemes that were set up to provide ex gratia payments to those who had been infected and affected by contaminated blood/blood products. The inquiry has heard oral evidence and received written evidence about the way people have felt let down by the previous Trusts and Schemes in place and the inadequacy of the support provided.
Following a successful legal challenge, in which Leigh Day was involved, the original schemes were replaced by support schemes in each of the four nations of the UK, to provide those infected with HCV and/or HIV with financial support. The devolved governments have responsibility for their respective schemes. However the Inquiry has heard from those infected and affected that many problems remain.
Many have been rejected by the schemes because they do not have the medical records to show they had a blood transfusion. These records have often been lost or destroyed by the NHS, the same organisation who gave them the infected blood transfusion in the first place. Individuals are therefore denied financial support because the body that infected them also lost their records. This remains the case even when detailed witness statements are provided.
The public inquiry continues.
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