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The Society and campaigners protest outside Downing street calling for an inquiry into Contaminated Blood scandal

 

The Haemophilia Society and campaigners today protested outside the Department of Health calling for an inquiry into the circumstances that lead to over 4,500 people with bleeding disorders being infected by contaminated blood products.

A delegation of people, consisting of people infected and family members of those who have died joined with MPs to deliver a letter to the prime minister demanding immediate action and her personal response.

The letter to the Prime Minister and a follow-up from The Haemophilia Society Chief Executive Liz Carroll are available here.

Describing how “Our members were harmed by the actions of the NHS and the Department for Health” Ms Carroll wrote to the Prime Minister:

“Our demands are clear, that the Government set up a full UK wide public inquiry, something which has never previously occurred, with power to compel witnesses under oath, release all documents for public scrutiny and have a remit to consider failures in government policy and negligence by public bodies.”

In the letter she concludes that only the Prime Minister is in a position to “ensure truth, justice and compensation for all those affected.”

The protest coincided with the announcement of government plans for a independent public advocate to act for groups of people following public disasters and represent them at inquests.

We await more details on the proposals, however as long as investigatory panels set up by the advocate are given sufficient powers to demand publication of documents and compel witnesses and no retrospective time limits are set we would welcome this development.

 

 

James Hunt

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