Inquiry minister urged to tackle “life-changing” issues

Written by Daniel Barnes, January 28, 2021

Exactly a year after her predecessor met with campaigners, Penny Mordaunt MP has been urged to take action on financial and psychological support for those affected by the contaminated blood scandal.

In a letter to Ms Mordaunt, who is the minister with responsibility for the Infected Blood Inquiry, Clive Smith, chair of The Haemophilia Society, said inaction since the last meeting had left many feeling that the Government had turned its back on the infected and affected community.

Mr Smith said Ms Mordaunt had a duty to address the issues of a fair financial support scheme and specialist psychological support. He urged her to start the process of creating a framework for awarding financial compensation to enable swift action once the inquiry reports in 2022.

In his letter, Mr Smith writes: “Many in our community gave up on the promises of politicians decades ago, but with the public inquiry now well established it is clear that a political solution must be found to address these fundamental problems.”

On 28 January 2020, a large group of campaigners met with Oliver Dowden MP to discuss a range of issues related to the Infected Blood Inquiry. A few weeks later, he was moved to another job and there was a period of almost three months when it wasn’t clear which minister had responsibility for the inquiry. In May 2020, Ms Mordaunt became the fourth minister to oversee the inquiry since it was announced in 2017.

Read more about The Society’s campaigns for long-term psychological support and fair financial support across the UK here.