Westminster to debate the contaminated blood disaster

Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster

Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster

Next Thursday (15th Jan) there is going to be a debate in Westminster on the contaminated blood issue.

The Backbench Business Committee has selected the following motion for debate.

That this House supports a further review of the circumstances surrounding the passing of infection via blood products to those with haemophilia and others during the 1970s and 1980s; notes the recent report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood into the support arrangements provided for those who contracted blood-borne viruses as a result; also notes that the Penrose Inquiry into these events will shortly be publishing its findings in Scotland; further notes that those who contracted viruses and their partners and dependants continue to be profoundly affected by what happened; therefore welcomes the Prime Minister’s commitment to look again at this issue; and calls on the Government to respond positively to the APPG report and engage actively with those affected with a view to seeking closure to these long standing events.

As Bill Wright said at the Scottish Parliament recieption at the end of last year, Haemophilia Scotland’s preferred option is that the Scottish Government uses its powers to deliver a Scottish settlement.  However, what happens south of the border might have an impact on how much money is available in Scotland and what options are available to the Scottish Government.  That is why we have contacted all 59 of Scotland’s MPs and urged them to take part in this debate.  Many Scottish MPs have a strong track record of supporting the campaign and the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood.  With the Penrose Inquiry Final Report expected soon it is important that we take all our opportunities to raise the profile of the campaign with politicians.  As the motion mentions the Inquiry we think it is appropriate that Scottish MPs represent the Scottish point of view in the debate.

MPs are much more likely to attend a debate if someone in their local area has asked them to.  If they know an issue affects people that they represent then they are much more likely to make the time to get involved.  If you would like your MP to attend the debate then the website www.writetothem.com is very useful.  All you need to do is put in your postcode and the website will tell you who your MP is.  If you click on their name it will help you send them an email too.  The most effective emails are short and to the point.  Just let them know why the issue is important to you and tell them that you would like them to attend the debate.

In keeping with the spirit of our Memorandum of Understanding with The Haemophilia Society (UK) we have informed them that we have taken this step.

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