Representatives and campaigners for people affected by contaminated blood and blood products took part in a phone call this morning to discuss a way forward for the planned inquiry.
The call was chaired by Bishop James Jones (who led the Hillsborough Inquiry) and facilitated by the APPG on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood and The Haemophilia Society. On the call the Bishop and the Co-Chairs of the APPG, Diana Johnson and Sir Peter Bottomley, heard the views of campaigners and proposed some next steps.
Bishop James Jones’ offer to be involved in the process was gratefully accepted and he proposed to inform the Government that the existing Department of Health led consultation on the remit of the inquiry must not go ahead.
The next step agreed was that a face-to-face meeting will take place in September to allow the views of representatives from the all parts of the affected community to be heard. The Haemophilia Society has offered to help with the logistics of the meeting at an appropriately accessible venue at a convenient place and time. Funding to cover costs of the meeting as well as the expenses of the representatives attending will be sought from Government.
While neither the formal nature of the inquiry nor its remit was discussed, it was agreed that there should not be arbitrary rushed timetables for setting up an inquiry and that it was vital to get the remit right.