Contaminated Blood Products

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:00 am on 9th September 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Margaret Ritchie Margaret Ritchie Social Democratic and Labour Party, South Down 11:00 am, 9th September 2015

Thank you, Mr Owen, and I also thank Drew Hendry for his intervention, which captured the crux of the problem. We want a full and final settlement for these people, accompanied by drugs for them, because they have suffered immeasurable and unimaginable pain and grief.

It is interesting what Professor Cash—a former president of the Royal College of Physicians and a former director of the transfusion service—has said. He asserts that the Inquiries Act 2005, which defines the parameters of public inquiries, enabled the executives responsible to avoid giving evidence. Apparently, the Act meant that there was a whole area that he could not address, and that is an area worthy of further investigation. I hope that the Government will not fall short in relation to that.

The Haemophilia Society was also critical of the Penrose inquiry report, saying that there had been systemic failures in public health and public oversight. Furthermore, we know that Lord Prior of Brampton made a statement to the House of Lords on Friday 17 July, which was reaffirmed in the Commons on Monday 20 July, when my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull North asked her urgent question. However, so far neither Parliament nor the wider public, including the victims, have been told when the consultation announced on 17 July will take place. The victims of contaminated blood products are still suffering while the Government continue to procrastinate on this issue.