Search

Full statutory inquiry to be held into contaminated blood scandal

The probe into the contaminated blood scandal will be a

The probe into the contaminated blood scandal will be a "full statutory inquiry" and will come under the responsibility of the Cabinet Office. Photo: Cathal McNaughton/PA Wire

The probe into the contaminated blood scandal will be a “full statutory inquiry” and will come under the responsibility of the Cabinet Office after victims and families “expressed strong views” over the potential involvement of the Department of Health, Downing Street said.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced earlier this year that an inquiry would be held into the events of the 1970s and 1980s, which left around 2,400 people dead.

But campaigners had rejected the Government’s proposed process, saying the health department should not be involved in setting up an inquiry when it is under investigation itself.

This newspaper revealed last month the inquiry would not be sponsored by the Department of Health.

Downing Street said there had been around 800 responses to the consultation in setting up the inquiry.

MORE: Story of Norfolk contaminated blood victim to be told on BBC One’s Panorama



Thousands of haemophiliacs and other patients were given blood products infected with hepatitis C and HIV.

Campaigners and families of those affected by the scandal boycotted a meeting with Department of Health officials over the remit of the UK-wide inquiry earlier this year in protest at its involvement.

MORE: Victim of contaminated blood scandal Bob Brennan asks on his deathbed: ‘How did they get away with it?’



The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The inquiry will be conducted under the responsibility of the Cabinet Office rather than by the Department of Health with immediate effect.

“We have been absolutely clear of our determination to establish what happened in relation to the contaminated blood scandal of the 1970s and 1980s and to work with the families of those affected, and we are now moving forward with that process.

“There was a strong view that it should be done away from the Department of Health. We have listened to those views and that’s why it will be conducted under the auspices of the Cabinet Office.”

Families and victims had been asked whether they wanted a judge-led inquiry or a Hillsborough-style panel.

Number 10 said there would be a further announcement by the end of the year on the setting up of the inquiry.

MORE: ‘An insult’ - Norfolk victims of the contaminated blood scandal react to new compensation payments



A spokesman for the Haemophilia Society said: “We welcome the government’s recognition of our concerns about the impartiality challenges the Department of Health faced regarding the contaminated blood inquiry.

“We hope the decision to make the Cabinet Office the sponsor of the now statutory inquiry will be a turning point in helping the victims of this scandal finally get the justice they have long deserved.

“We now hope a new and fresh discussion will be launched to establish the chair and terms of reference, which can now include the many groups who, like us, had felt unable to work with the Department of Health when it was so clearly conflicted.”

Other news

13:24

Colleges in Dereham, Fakenham and Reepham have all been celebrating improved A-level results.

06:52

Hundreds of students around the region will today open their all-important A-level results envelopes.

Yesterday, 16:58

Five fire crews tackled a blaze at a chicken shed in north Norfolk.

Yesterday, 16:47

People can dump unwanted household chemicals at seven of Norfolk’s recycling centres during September and October.

Most Read

13:24

Colleges in Dereham, Fakenham and Reepham have all been celebrating improved A-level results.

Read more
Dereham Sixth Form College
Yesterday, 08:54

A bin lorry driving along a coastal road found himself confronted by an unusual form of traffic coming from the opposite direction.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:15

With Active Fakenham Week set to get underway on Saturday, the leader of the group behind the event has called for more help to be given to voluntary community organisations.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:58

Five fire crews tackled a blaze at a chicken shed in north Norfolk.

Read more
Tue, 14:27

The Crown pub and restaurant has been closed after a kitchen fire this morning.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 11°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Fakenham and Wells Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Fakenham and Wells Times weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy