The Infected Blood Inquiry has brought back traumatic memories for many people, which can be hard to deal with. While some people can share these feelings with friends or family that they trust, others feel alone and unable to confide in anyone.
A confidential support service provided by the inquiry which is run by the British Red Cross is available to anyone affected by treatment with infected blood and blood products.
To access the support call 0800 458 9473 or 020 3417 0280. Phone lines are open:
- Mondays 11am – 1pm
- Wednesdays 7pm – 9pm
- Fridays 2pm – 4pm
There is also a messaging system to receive a call back during these hours. Counsellors are available at the inquiry’s public hearings for face-to-face sessions. For further information click here.
You can also get help through your GP, the social services department of your local authority, CRUSE Bereavement 0870 167 167: www.cruse.org.uk the Salvation Army 0845 634 0101: www.salvationarmy.org.uk or the Samaritans 116 123: www.samaritans.org.uk.
In Northern Ireland there is a dedicated regional specialist psychological service delivered within the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust for individuals aged 18 years and above who have been infected and affected as a result of receiving contaminated blood. The service is also for family members. If you would like further information please contact the Clinical Health Psychology Department on 028 9615 5867.
In Scotland the Haemophilia Psychological Support Service offers additional services to members of SIBSS with inherited bleeding disorders. If you’re interested in this service, please speak to your local haemophilia centre and / or contact them direct on 0131 2421270.
The England Infected Blood Support Scheme offers a discretionary one-off payment of up to £900 a year to beneficiaries and their families towards counselling costs. Find out how to apply here.
If you are struggling to get the support you need, please don’t suffer alone. Call Debra or Jessica from our public inquiry team on 020 7939 0780 and we’ll do all we can to help.