The Infected Blood Inquiry

Part of 4. Topical Questions – in the Senedd at 3:35 pm on 22 May 2024.

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Photo of Baroness Mair Eluned Morgan Baroness Mair Eluned Morgan Labour 3:35, 22 May 2024

Thanks very much, Mabon. I think you are absolutely right in the tone that you used there. This is the worst scandal in the history of the NHS. I'd like to pay tribute to all those people, in particular those who suffered over so many years and whose voices weren't heard. But I'd also like to pay tribute to the campaigners who stood with them, and in particular, in this Chamber, to Julie Morgan, who, for years and years, stood by and with the victims, not just in this Chamber but also in Westminster. Thank you, Julie, for all your work.

I think you're absolutely right in your outrage, and I'd like to echo that outrage on behalf of the victims. They were very poorly served, and it is good at last that their voices have been heard. There are many, many recommendations in the report; it's a very long report. There are 12 recommendations, across all areas of healthcare, which we're going to take time to address. In terms of the next steps, the infected blood inquiry report next steps for Wales group will be set up. That's going to consider the recommendations and shape our response to them. That group will be chaired by our new deputy chief medical officer, Push Mangat.

Officials are already working with the UK Government in terms of next steps in relation to compensation, via the newly formed Infected Blood Compensation Authority. I have already received a letter from the UK Government Minister, who's very keen to see that there's no delay. He has suggested that that second interim payment, which was announced this week—£210,000 to those living beneficiaries who are registered on a support scheme—will be paid within 90 days. We will be channelling that via the Welsh scheme for the time being, just to make sure that they get paid. We have had it confirmed that the UK Government will be bearing the cost in full and will be paying for this.