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Update on the Contaminated Blood Inquiry

The Prime Minister has updated Parliament on the steps towards the creation of the statutory public inquiry into contaminated blood and blood products.

We welcome the progress that has been made and the commitment to consult widely and in detail on the terms of reference.

Today’s announcement confirms that the inquiry will be led by a judge with more information to come on the make-up and nature of a panel.

Many in the affected community had hoped to see a chair appointed before Christmas to begin the work of the inquiry and we are disappointed this has not happened. However, we appreciate the importance of finding the right individual to lead this long-awaited inquiry.

We expect that significant progress towards appointing a chair has been made and hope that there will be an announcement early in the New Year.

Liz Carroll, Chief Executive of The Haemophilia Society said: “This scandal devastated a generation of people with haemophilia and today’s announcement moves us closer to finding truth and justice for those families. We hope to see further progress and the appointment of a chair to lead the inquiry early in the New Year.”

Next Steps

The next key step will be to consult widely to help establish the terms of reference and enable the Inquiry to provide a full report in a timely manner. The completion of the terms of reference requires full involvement for the affected community to ensure they are all-encompassing and provide confidence that the process will deliver justice.

The Haemophilia Society intends to continue to take a constructive approach to working with the cabinet office ensuring that effective and comprehensive terms of reference are agreed and welcomes all opportunities to take an active role in this process, representing the members of our organisation. We look forward to participating in the inquiry and working with the chair, when they are appointed, to ensure the inquiry is all encompassing, effective and proactive in terms of its investigation.

All representative groups who have campaigned for the establishment of this Inquiry should be afforded a voice to have their issues considered as part of the investigation process. It is important that all are invited to participate and they have the opportunity to deliver evidence and share their story during the Inquiry.

Read about the history of contaminated blood products and their impact on people with haemophilia and other bleeding disorders.

Jefferson Courtney