This tragedy, dubbed by Lords Robert Winston and Alf Morris as "...the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS...", has killed, widowed and destroyed the lives of thousands.
The survivors are calling for:
- A full public inquiry, to be held under the Inquiries Act 2005, to fully investigate the events that led to thousands of British haemophiliacs and others with bleeding disorders, becoming superinfected with a multitude of viruses and pathogens over many years.
The scope of the inquiry to include establishing the events and actions that caused or contributed to the catastrophic failure to provide safe NHS therapy and to review whether the support available is appropriate and effective in meeting the resultant needs of all those affected and counteracts any disadvantage imposed upon them.
- Full compensation for haemophiliacs and others with bleeding disorders who were infected, and for their families. This to be awarded in such a way that closure can be achieved for the majority of those affected and infected, including the widows and dependents of those who have died.
- A full and comprehensive acknowledgement by the Prime Minister of what happened to the haemophiliacs and the inadequate government response. This to include a full public apology by the Prime Minister, in the House of Commons.
- Lessons to be learnt from what happened to the haemophiliacs, and measures put in place to protect the patients of the future. These measures to cover the safety of the nation’s blood supply, along with other measures to address mistakes identified – for example missed warnings, not passing on test results to patients, procedural errors and non-consensual testing.
We also aim to:
- Offer on-going help and support to all those who have contracted viruses through the whole blood method, in order to achieve appropriate compensation.
- Encourage and promote any government look-back exercise to identify all those who may have been affected. We support any government initiative with the purpose of efficient screening of blood, testing suspected victims, obtaining counselling for those infected and enabling them to apply for financial help.
For over twenty five years, our pleas for truth and justice have been met with a series of inadequate, derisory, ex-gratia payments. Requests for a Public Inquiry have been met with a complacent assertion that lessons have been learned and that what happened was an accident. The evidence demonstrates this opinion is wrong. This is not acceptable and the Government should be aware that, such is the anger felt by our community - we will not stop until justice is done!