Government needs to publish study on Compensation Framework for people affected by contaminated blood products
Written by Jeff Courtney, May 5, 2022
The Haemophilia Society, MPs and other campaigners have written to the Government demanding they publish the report produced by Sir Robert Francis QC on a framework for compensation for people affected by contaminated blood products.
In the 1970s and 1980s 4,689 people with haemophilia and other bleeding disorders were infected with HIV and hepatitis viruses through the use of contaminated clotting factors. Some of those unintentionally infected their partners, often because they were unaware of their own infection. Since then more than 3,000 people have died and of the 1,243 people infected with HIV less than 250 are still alive.
They have never been compensated by government. Last year Sir Robert conducted a study for the government into options for a compensation framework for people affected by contaminated blood and blood products, which was submitted in March.
Since then there has been no information from the government on what the report proposes and what they may provide as compensation.
The letter* to the minister responsible for the inquiry calls on the government to immediately publish Sir Robert Francis’ Report and allow consideration of the report by people infected and affected. It would also allow for more effective scrutiny by the Infected Blood Inquiry before the government publish their response to the report.
Sir Brian Langstaff, chair of the inquiry, similarly wrote that the government should wait until after the inquiry has considered the report and taken evidence from Sir Robert before government proposals are set out. He said it was important people did not feel that “decisions were being made about them behind closed doors without their input”.
However, a response to the letter from Paymaster General Michael Ellis makes clear that Sir Robert’s report will not be published before the government’s response. Instead, this will be made available shortly before Sir Robert’s evidence to the inquiry on 11 and 12 July, leaving little time for proper consideration.
*Signatories to the letter written on 29 March included Dame Diana Johnson MP and Sir Peter Bottomley MP, the co-chairs of the APPG on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood, David Mundell, Co-Chair of the APPG on HIV/AIDS and eight other MPs and peers.
The Haemophilia Society signed the letter alongside charities and campaign groups including Bloodloss Families, TaintedBlood, TaintedBlood Bereaved Spouses and Partners, TaintedBlood Bereaved Parents Support Group, Factor 8, Terrence Higgins Trust, the Hepatitis C Trust, the Scottish Infected Blood Forum, Contaminated Blood Campaign and Haemophilia Scotland.
The full letter with all the signatories available below: