Compensation will be paid – if the inquiry recommends it
Written by Jessica Bomford, May 26, 2021
Compensation will be paid to victims of the contaminated blood scandal and their families if the Infected Blood Inquiry recommends it, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed.
Giving evidence to the inquiry last week, Mr Hancock accepted that that the government has a “moral responsibility” to support those infected and affected. He said he wanted to “acknowledge the pain and the suffering not only of the initial errors ..but also a sense that redress wasn’t properly considered.”
Asked directly about compensation, Mr Hancock said: “If the inquiry’s recommendations point to compensation then of course we will pay compensation.”
If the inquiry’s recommendations point to compensation then of course we will pay compensation.”Matt Hancock, Health Secretary
Current and former health ministers of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales also gave evidence to the inquiry last week. They all agreed that paying compensation was “inevitable” and that both devolved and UK governments had a moral responsibility to act.
It was also announced that Sir Robert Francis QC will lead the independent review of a compensation framework which will report to the Paymaster General, Penny Mordaunt, before the inquiry publishes its final report.
Sir Robert, 71, is a barrister who specialises in medical law, including medical and mental health treatment and capacity issues, professional discipline, and claims for damages in clinical negligence cases. He chaired the two Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust inquiries and has considerable experience of working on public inquiries.
“It is important this is shaped by the people it is ultimately going to serve.”Penny Mordaunt, Paymaster General on the compensation framework review
Speaking to the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Contaminated Blood and Haemophilia last week, Ms Mordaunt, the minister who sponsors the inquiry, said she was keen to “pick up the pace” on the issues of compensation and parity of current financial support. There will now be a brief consultation about the terms of reference of the compensation study.
Sir Robert will be engaging fully with the infected and affected community in carrying out his review. Ms Mordaunt said: “It is important this is shaped by the people it is ultimately going to serve.” She emphasised that she did not want the study to become a “drawn-out, bureaucratic process”.
Anyone who wants to write to Sir Robert regarding the compensation study should email [email protected].
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