Scottish campaigners to give evidence to infected blood inquiry

Scottish campaigners will give evidence to the infected blood inquiry in London this week.

Scottish campaigners will give evidence to the infected blood inquiry this week.

The inquiry, which began in September 2018, will investigate how as many as 30,000 people across the UK and 3,000 in Scotland were infected with HIV and hepatitis in the 1970s and ‘80s after being given contaminated blood imported from the US.

Many patients were haemophiliacs, along with others who received blood transfusions.

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Around 2,400 people died in what is recognised as one of the worst treatment scandals in the history of the NHS.

Bruce Norval will give evidence on Wednesday, while Bill Wright will do so on Thursday.

Bill Wright, who is chair of Haemophilia Scotland, will speak as part of a panel alongside representatives from Haemophilia Northern Ireland and Haemophilia Wales.

The inquiry will also hear this week from Jason Evans, founder of campaign group Factor 8, and Carol Grayson of Haemophilia Action UK.

Next week there will be presentations to the inquiry about smaller haemophilia centres around the UK, including centres in Scotland on Wednesday June 16 and Thursday June 17.

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It comes after UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the inquiry in on May 21 that the UK Government has a “moral responsibility” to address the issues associated with the scandal.

Mr Hancock told the inquiry that resolving the issue of financial support and compensation was “long overdue”.

He said: “Should the inquiry’s recommendations point to compensation, then of course we will pay compensation."

Scottish medics have previously given evidence to the inquiry, including Professor Christopher Ludlam, consultant haematologist and reference centre director at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary between 1980 and 2011, and Professor Gordon Lowe, senior lecturer and honorary consultant at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary from 1985 to 2009.

Scotland was the first part of the UK to hold a public inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal, but this did not take place until 2009 and did not report until 2015.

The Penrose Inquiry was labelled a “whitewash” by some victims after it made only one recommendation, that steps should be taken to offer blood tests to anyone in Scotland who had a blood transfusion before 1991 and has not already been tested for hepatitis C, and did not apportion blame.

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