Campaign groups' reaction to announcement on increase to the fund for contaminated blood victims
Campaign groups have given a cautious welcome to the announcement by Theresa May that the government is making some additional funding available for victims of the Infected NHS Blood tragedy.
Posted on 30 April 2019
The Contaminated Blood Campaign, Blood Loss Families and Contaminated Blood Women have given a cautious welcome to the announcement that the government is making some additional funding available for victims of the Infected NHS Blood tragedy, calling it a small step in the right direction whilst there is still a long way to go to properly compensate the victims of the worst scandal to hit the NHS.
All three campaign groups have been working with the government but have never been asked to say how best to use any additional funds. Contaminated Blood Campaign, Blood Loss Families and Contaminated Blood Women are thus calling on the government not to make decisions about how these additional funds should be allocated until the voice of victims has been properly heard on how these funds should be used.
Glenn Wilkinson of Contaminated Blood Campaign, Jackie Britton of Blood Loss Families, and Lesley Brownless of Contaminated Blood Women, said:
“The victims of this scandal have been ignored for decades, but we are finally being put at the heart of the Inquiry led by Sir Brian Langstaff. However, the latest statement from the government suggests that they still have not got the message – listen to the victims before you act!
“No decisions should be made about how best to use these additional funds unless and until the voice of the victims has been fully heard.
“We do not want major decisions being made about how to use millions of pounds of public money to benefit victims of this scandal without victims having a say about how best to use these new funds.
“The government says that it wants to ensure all victims are “properly and equitably supported”. How can they do that without asking us how this should happen?”
Emma Jones, solicitor at law firm Leigh Day, who represents over 300 core participants in the Infected Blood Inquiry, including members of the three campaign groups, said:
“The increased funding announced by Theresa May is not an insignificant sum. To ensure it is put to the best possible use to help meet the needs of the victims, it is vital that the government listens to and takes action on the points raised by all the campaign groups and individuals infected and affected by the tragedy about the way in which the increased funds should be used.”