Regular readers will know that our Chair, Bill Wright, is one of 12 contaminated blood and blood products campaigners from across the UK who are attempting a dialogue with the UK Government seeking improvements to financial support for infected and affected people. If you haven’t been following their progress you can catch up on their work so far here, here, here, and here.
Today, these same 12 campaigner have written to the Prime Minister.
The following statement has been released from the campaigners to accompany the letter.
The signatories to the Oct 16th 2019 letter to the Prime Minister are all affected by the infected blood disaster. We were invited by the Government to attend a meeting with UK Government Ministers in January in response to Sir Brian Langstaff’s call for an uplift in financial support to those affected by the disaster. We are from many of the campaign groups involved with infected blood and blood products.
We presented proposals to Ministers for a significant uplift on existing support for beneficiaries across the UK, and the inclusion of the bereaved where this had not been included before. Following our meeting with them, only EIBSS made any response, and this response did not meet our proposals for any other than those infected with both HIV and Hep C.
The signatories to the letter, while welcoming the extra payments for some in England, remain dismayed that others have continued to be ‘short changed’ and are thus pressing to see all of those who are affected receive financial improvements in line with Sir Brian’s call for action.
As leaders of some of the campaign groups involved, we do not purport to represent all the 2000 core participants of the Inquiry or 3000 people giving witness statements, nor can we. We are simply following through on Sir Brian’s call to Government to secure action financially in the short term while the Inquiry sits. The different matter of long-term compensation is one to be determined following the recommendations of the Inquiry.
Quite separately, a request was made in Parliament for long-term compensation. We regret the conflation by Oliver Dowden MP of this issue with the demands we are making today.