Newsletter 3 September 2018

The Infected Blood Inquiry Preliminary Hearings – 24/26 September

After years of waiting the UK inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal begins its preliminary hearings later this month (September).  ‘The Infected Blood Inquiry’ under its chair, Sir Brian Langstaff, opens at Church House, Westminster, on 24 September.

These preliminary hearings will last for three days during which Sir Brian and his team will set out how the Inquiry proposes to carry out its work.  After this, core participants, or their legal representatives, will have the time to make their opening statements.  Following these opening days Inquiry will be in ‘discovery’, going through evidence and investigation.  The main hearings will then begin early in the New Year.

On 24 September the hearings will start in the afternoon after a commemoration earlier in the day for the people infected and affected over the past decades. The preliminary hearings, and the commemoration, will be broadcast through the Inquiry website so it will be possible to follow the proceedings without travelling to London.

The Inquiry expect that many people will wish to attend the hearings for at least some of the time. Church House has plenty of space for those of people who would like to attend, including a separate room for people who may want to follow the live transmission separately or to avoid being filmed.  Trained counsellors will also be on hand in private rooms, and there is a chapel for quiet reflection.

If you would like to go to Church House for all or part of these opening sessions, please contact the Inquiry at contact@infectedbloodinquiry.org.uk.  The Inquiry will pay reasonable expenses so that people infected and/or affected can attend these hearings, and guidance on expenses is on the Inquiry website

Note: There has been some recent discussions on social media about dress code for the commemoration event.  The consensus is grey suite with campaign (red, black, yellow) striped tie for men (there are some like this available on line) and red or black dress with black/red/yellow accessories for women.

The Haemophilia Society Meeting 23 September

There is still time to attend The Haemophilia Society’s pre inquiry meeting for Society Members at 2-00 pm on Sunday 23 September, where you will have a chance to meet and hear from the Society’s Inquiry and Legal Teams before the Inquiry’s preliminary hearings open the following day.

At the meeting, which is being held in the Herringham Hall of Regent’s University London, in Regent’s Park, you will hear from representatives of The Society and the inquiry team after which there will be plenty of opportunity for questions.

Afternoon tea will then be served, during which there will be a chance for members to meet and chat with all the Society’s Inquiry and Legal Teams.

If you would like to attend please e-mail us at publicinquiry@haemophilia.org.uk

Society Launches Special Inquiry Web site

The Haemophilia Society has launched a special section of its web site which will focus solely on the Infected Blood Inquiry.  Visitors to the site will be able to catch up on the news from the Inquiry and read up on the history of the scandal.  There are also links to many useful web sites for those who have been infected/affected.  You can log onto the site at www.inquiry.haemophilia.org.uk

Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance

The annual service to remember those who have died from contaminated blood products within the bleeding disorders community is being held this year at St Botolphs without Bishopsgate, London, on Saturday 27 October 2018 at 2:30 pm.

Due to greater awareness of the service, the service will be ticketed to ensure the well-being of each of all attendees. To book your place please e-mail info@haemophilia.org.uk or call 020 7939 0780 and your ticket will be posted to you.

If you are unable to attend but would like a candle lit or a name entered in the Book of Remembrance, or to make a donation to help fund the service, please contact info@haemophilia.org.uk or call 020 7939 0780.

Making all our voices heard – The Haemphilia Society – Representing our community’s Interests at The Infected Blood Inquiry

After decades of campaigning we now have a full public inquiry into the scandal that so ravaged our community.  We need to ensure a strong voice at the Inquiry that represents our whole community.

The Haemophilia Society have been representing our community to Government, the media and the world for more than 60 years and will continue to do this over the course of the inquiry and beyond.  We believe we have assembled a formidable team at The Society with unparalleled experience of the challenges the inquiry will now present.  We hope that you will join with us and allow us to represent your interests at this important phase in our community’s history.

The Haemophilia Society is a ‘Core Participant’ at The Infected Blood Inquiry.  This means The Society can apply, under the Inquiries Act 2005, for the costs of its legal representation, which also covers those who join with The Society.  We will also be able to assist in preparing any statement you may wish to make and advise in gathering documentation, including medical records, which may be useful for the Inquiry’s investigation.

How will I be kept informed?
It is The Society’s intention to arrange dedicated meetings where you will be briefed on the progress of The Inquiry and have an opportunity to contribute to the issues you believe should be investigated during the Inquiry itself.  The Society is committed towards regular communications to keep you fully up to date with The Inquiry and its progress.

How will I be kept informed?
It is The Society’s intention to arrange dedicated meetings where you will be briefed on the progress of The Inquiry and have an opportunity to contribute to the issues you believe should be investigated during the Inquiry itself.  The Society is committed towards regular communications to keep you fully up to date with The Inquiry and its progress.

What do I need to do?
To join with The Society simply complete the short ‘Having my say’  form (Click here to download) and return it to The Society, we will be in touch with you.  You will need to be a member of The Society, which is free to join, and will be able to opt out of any communications not related to the Inquiry or any other topic should you so wish.  Please also share this information with friends or family if it is of interest.

If you have any questions, or want any further information please contact us at publicinquiry@haemophilia.org.uk or call us on 0207 939 0780.
Please return your completed form either by e-mail to:-
publicinquiry@haemophilia.org.uk 
or post to:-
The Haemophilia Society
Willcox House
140-148 Borough High Street
London
SE1 1LB

Society Congress and Annual General Meeting
The Haemophilia Society’s conference and annual general meeting is being held this year in Birmingham and will include a session for members about the Public Inquiry, its progress and the role of the Society at the Inquiry.  All members are invited to join the Society for the two-day event (17/18 November) including the AGM and a gala dinner.

There will also be sessions on a wide range of relevant topics, opportunities to meet others with bleeding disorders and to find out the results of trustee elections for 2018.

Details are available on the society’s web site at https://bit.ly/2QoPpOv 

GLA (Class action) and Public Inquiry – clarification
We have received a number of questions from Members who have joined with other legal firms in regards to the class action being brought against the Government over the Contaminated Blood Scandal, but who wish to join with the Society for representation at the Public Inquiry.

The legal action and the public inquiry are two separate matters being heard under two different legal processes and there is no reason why Members cannot have one legal firm representing them for the class action and The Society for the Public Inquiry.