Sir Brian Langstaff, Chair of the Infected Blood Inquiry, today published a landmark report containing recommendations on the payment of compensation to those infected and affected by the infected blood disaster. The recommendations cover Haemophiliacs and others who were infected by HIV, Hepatitis C and certain cases of Hepatitis B through infected blood or blood products. It includes those infected via blood transfusion and tissue transfer.
Sir Brian’s report builds on the acceptance by Government that compensation should be paid and emphasises that “it should plainly be paid as soon as possible”. He adds that “no time must be wasted in delivering redress”.
The Interim Report is now available on the Infected Blood Inquiry website and can be found here
Commenting on the publication Bill Wright, Chair of Haemophilia Scotland, said “It is an emotional and momentous day. Some of us have been literally campaigning on this for decades and whilst the news is very positive from Sir Brian, the ball is now well and truly at the feet of the UK Government to act as a matter of urgency on these recommendations.”
The key recommendations contained with the Interim Report are as follows:
- The Chair recommends that the compensation scheme should be set up now without further delay and should begin work this year.
- The structure of the scheme should be set up as soon as possible, and before the final report from the Inquiry.
- The Interim Report fully covers the Inquiry’s recommendations on financial redress. The scheme does not need to wait for any more outcomes from the final report.
- An Interim Payment of £100,000 should be made to bereaved parents, children or siblings. The report provides further information on the conditions to be eligible for these compensation payments but does not include any mention of the timescales or process to make a claim. We will need to await information from Government on the arrangements to be made.
- Recommendation for Arm’s Length Body to be set up with independence guaranteed by Chair who should be a current or former Judge of High Court or Court of Session as sole decision maker with advisory board as suggested within Sir Robert Francis report. The Arm’s Length Body will be responsible for creating the structure and setting the level of awards for the proposed compensation scheme.
- Compensation scheme to be delivered by one central body, but current support schemes should continue to be provided by existing support schemes (SIBSS and equivalents in other regions).
These are very strong recommendations from Sir Brian, but we need to see how the Government respond.
Update on Second Interim Report from Infected Blood Inquiry – 18 April 2023
We are following up with Government on publication by Sir Brian Langstaff of his second interim report from the Infected Blood Inquiry.
The report is mainly directed at the UK Government, and we were disappointed at the lack of an early response from them. We have followed this up with a letter to Jeremy Quin MP, Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office (who has responsibility for the Infected Blood Inquiry) urging him to move ahead with the steps needed to implement Sir Brian’s recommendations on compensation and redress.
We have also joined with the Scottish Infected Blood Forum in writing to the First Minister, the Rt Hon Humza Yousaf, in calling for the Scottish Government’s active involvement in issues that will affect them and those living in Scotland and seeking an early meeting with relevant Ministers.
We understand that the interim report has raised many queries with members, and we are working to have clarity on all aspects of the report.
We will continue to keep members advised of developments through the web page, e-mail and Facebook posts.