On 30th April 2019, the first public hearings of the Infected Blood Inquiry were held in London. More are planned over the next year in Belfast, Leeds, Edinburgh and Cardiff. The Inquiry is chaired by Sir Brian Langstaff.
During the 1970s and 1980s, thousands of people in the UK (the precise number remains unknown) were infected with hepatitis B, hepatitis C and/or HIV by blood or blood products administered to them by the NHS. These include people who received blood transfusions following accidents or in childbirth, and those – particularly those with haemophilia or other bleeding disorders – who received regular treatment through blood products. Many have died, and the lives of thousands of others have been profoundly affected as a result of what is now regarded as one of the most significant adverse public health events in the history of the NHS.
The first phase of the Inquiry focusses on the experiences of those directly or indirectly infected by blood or blood products, and those affected by the illnesses and deaths caused to family members and loved ones. The Inquiry will go on to consider a wide range of further issues relating to the cause of the events, the responses to them, and the support offered to those infected and affected.
Matthew Hill, Michael Deacon and Charlotte Gilmartin have been appointed as Junior Counsel to the Inquiry. Christian Howells is instructed by Watkins and Gunn for 300 Welsh and Northern Irish Core Participants.
Read more in the press below or on twitter via @bloodinquiry: