Contaminated Blood

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:51 pm on 12 April 2016.

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Photo of Diana R. Johnson Diana R. Johnson Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 3:51, 12 April 2016

I beg to move,

That this House
recognises that the contaminated blood scandal was one of the biggest treatment disasters in the history of the NHS, which devastated thousands of lives;
notes that for those affected this tragedy continues to have a profound effect on their lives which has rarely been properly recognised;
welcomes the Government’s decision to conduct a consultation to reform support arrangements and to commit extra resources to support those affected;
further notes, however, that the current Government proposals will leave some people worse off and continue the situation where some of those affected receive no ongoing support;
and calls on the Government to take note of all the responses to the consultation and to heed the recommendations of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood’s Inquiry into the current support arrangements so as to ensure that no-one is worse off, left destitute or applying for individual payments as a result of the proposed changes and that everyone affected by the tragedy, including widows and dependents, receives support commensurate with the decades of suffering and loss of amenity they have experienced.

I thank the Backbench Business Committee for granting time for this debate today. This same topic was the subject of the first debate that the Committee scheduled after its establishment in 2010; it is sad that, six years on, we are still fighting for justice for those affected by the contaminated blood scandal. Also in 2010, during the general election campaign, my constituent Glenn Wilkinson came to see me with his wife Alison. They told me about Glenn’s having been given infected blood during dental treatment at Hull Royal Infirmary and how it had affected his life, his health and his opportunities for work and how it had impacted on his family. From then on, I began to find out about the biggest treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.