May orders inquiry into contaminated blood scandal

Inquiry launched into contaminated blood scandal that left thousands dead			
   by Simon Garner 

Inquiry launched into contaminated blood scandal that left thousands dead by Simon Garner Published

The infections took place in the late 1970s and 1980s, when more than 4,500 people with hemophilia and other bleeding disorders were infected with HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and a range of other blood-borne viruses, according to the UK's Haemophilia Society.

The PM's official spokesman said the PM began Cabinet this morning by announcing that she and Mr Hunt had decided an inquiry should be launched.

Because of a shortage of blood products in Britain, the NHS bought much of its stock from U.S. suppliers whose donors, including prisoners and other groups at high risk of infection, had been paid for their blood.

The announcement came just two days after six party leaders in the Commons - including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - signed a joint letter calling for an inquiry. People have suffered enough through contaminated blood.

The government would consult with those affected before deciding what form the inquiry could take, the spokesman said, saying it could potentially be a judge-led statutory inquiry, or a Hillsborough-type independent panel.

At the weekend, former Health Secretary Andy Burnham, who is now mayor of Greater Manchester, told Sky News that he would summon the police if ministers failed to act on the scandal. "They have been let down by all political parties and public bodies", he said.

"It is now incumbent on those organisations to work together to give the families truth, justice and accountability without any further delay or obstruction", he said.

May orders inquiry into contaminated blood scandal

An estimated 7,500 were treated with infected blood products and of that number more than 2,400 are believed to have died since. Some of these came from high-risk sources, including prisoners and drug addicts.

"We've called for this so many times and we've always had it thrown back at us".

He said: "Jeremy Hunt said that 2,400 had died and it was necessary to establish the causes of this appalling injustice".

Details of the UK-wide investigation have yet to be finalised, and consultations will take place with those people affected as to how best to proceed.

"It was obviously a serious systemic failure".

In a separate statement she said: "An inquiry must also ensure that those involved in the scandal provide oral and written evidence, and it must investigate not just the lead-up to this tragedy but the aftermath - including the alleged criminal cover-up and the loss of documents and medical records".

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