This morning BBC Radio Scotland covered the recent increase in activity in the contaminated blood campaign.
In particular, they highlighted yesterday’s Report from the All Party Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood, today’s backbench debate at Westminster, and news that three campaigners have launched a legal challenge to the current financial support arrangements on the grounds of discrimination. With a date for the publication of the Penrose Inquiry Final Report expected within the next couple of weeks, now is a critical time for raising awareness of the campaign again.
Today, BBC Radio played a report which included the moving concluding scene from the Factor 9 play by Dogstar. Hayley Millar then interviewed prominent campaigner, Bruce Norval, in their Inverness studio. Bruce explained how pooling of blood plasma donations in the manufacturing process increased the risk of infection from HIV and Hepatitis C, and exposed people to risks from vCJD. He was clear that, in his view, the APPG report’s proposal amounted to “replacing five failed organisations with one failing organisation.”
The interview then turned to Dan Farthing-Sykes, representing Haemophilia Scotland, to ask about the Penrose Inquiry. Dan said,
“The Penrose Inquiry is just the latest in a long line of Inquiries since the Scottish Parliament was established. We’ve had Internal Inquiries, we’ve had Committee Inquiries, we’ve had an Expert Panel, and now we’ve finally got our Public Inquiry. What we are really hoping for at Haemophilia Scotland, is that this will be the end of the Inquiries and the beginning of actually sorting this out. As yesterday’s report from the APPG makes clear, there are all manner of unfairnesses and inadequacies in the current support arrangements. We are really hoping that when we eventually get the Penrose Report, that will be the catalyst for really sorting this out and making sure that people, as the report made clear, are no longer living in poverty.”
We are grateful to the campaign group, Tainted Blood, for providing this clip of the BBC Radio Scotland Coverage.