Campaigners from all groups representing people affected by the contaminated blood scandal have written to the Government rejecting their proposed process of consulting on the creation of the public inquiry. The Haemophilia Society had intended to raise these issues at the meeting but has heard the message from campaigners, many of whom are our members, and will join them in refusing to engage with the DH on this issue.
The Department of Health (DH) yesterday announced a meeting at short notice but failed to invite key individuals and campaign groups. Campaigners, key MPs and The Haemophilia Society have all strongly argued that the DH must not be involved in deciding the remit and powers of an inquiry that will be investigating the actions of its ministers and staff.
The meeting was due to take place at 10am tomorrow morning, however it may now not go ahead in light of the planned non-attendance by all affected individuals and campaign groups that represent them.
Liz Carroll, Chief Executive of The Haemophilia Society, has this morning written to the Prime Minister setting out our opposition to the approach being taken by the Government. She said, “I call on you to ensure this inquiry is passed to another department and the meeting cancelled until such time it can be reconvened with adequate notice and to include all those whose voices need to be heard.”
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However, The Haemophilia Society stand ready, both as a key actor at the time and as a membership organisation including many of those affected, to engage fully with a full statutory inquiry set up by another department such as the Ministry of Justice or the Cabinet Office.