Legal perspective from Patrick McGuire of Thompsons Solicitors
10th February 2016
Shona Robison speech at the SIBF Parliament Evening Reception
11th February 2016

The Forum held an evening reception at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 10th February in Committee Room 1 to launch the Scoping Exercise and the ‘Living Well with Hepatitis C’ film.

The film of the event is shown above and below you’ll find the timeline of the order of events:

start             Malcolm Chisholm MSP’s  introduction

1m 40s          Philip Dolan’s address

9m 50s          Tommy Leggate’s presenta- tion on the Financial impacts highlighted by the Scoping Exercise

24m 42s        Lorraine Simpson’s introduc tion to the Living Well Film

30m 25s        First 2/3rds of the ‘Living Well’ Film

57m 15s         Shona Robison’s address

1hr 10m 29s Closing remarks by Malcolm Chisholm MSP

1hr 11m 02s  Closing words by Philip Dolan


These two pieces of work, funded through Scottish Government channels, give victims a voice and put the spotlight  on what they have had to endure.

Tommy Leggate presented some key findings from the Scoping Exercise which analysed 123 respondent’s views and detailed comments and his presentation focussed on the financial impacts that respondents had detailed in the study. The overall aim of the Scoping Exercise was to assist the Scottish Government to more clearly understand the scope and scale of the unmet needs resulting from Hepatitis C infection, to give structured evidence on those specific support needs.

Prior to this report, the Scottish Government have been to some extent reliant on anecdotal accounts. This Scoping Exercise has taken a wide-ranging and comprehensive approach to the issue of support that included historic experiences. The needs of those affected clearly go well beyond treatment of the diseases themselves.

In tandem with this comprehensive study, a new project was devised to focus on people’s experiences, to give them a platform, through their own words and on what helped them to live well with in spite of the infection. This project matured into a film created by Lorraine Simpson of ‘The Lines Between’ entitled “Living Well with Hepatitis C” and encapsulated the testimonies of 20 victims of the disaster and their bereaved relatives. The film was not shown in its entirety due to time constraints, but an abbreviated version of the film showing the first 17 to 20 minutes was shown and this was followed by a speech given by Shona Robison MSP the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Well-being (a transcription of this is shown on the next page).

Invitations for the evening reception were extended to as many infected and affected people as possible, together with several consultants and specialists from notable Scottish hospitals and members of the Scottish Parliament itself.  Some 71 responses were received prior to the event which in itself exceeded expectations, indeed on the night more than that number actually attended and the committee room was filled with expectant audience members.

The event was hosted by Malcolm Chisholm MSP; as some may know Philip Dolan and Malcolm have not agreed on some issues in the past, but we would like to extend our gratitude to Malcolm for sponsoring the event to allow us to make our presentation in Parliament.

Thanks also go to Shona Robison MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Health, who spent a considerable amount of time at the reception talking to any attendees who wanted

to raise points with her after she made her speech. Many members and attendees

noted her willingness to delay leaving so she could speak with all those people who had been waiting patiently to speak with her.

The film of the Parliament event, shown at the top of this post, can also be streamed free direct from SIBF’s  Vimeo’ platform from the following link:

Copies of the DVD of the ‘Living Well’ Film are available on request. We hope to upload the entire film onto the internet for streaming too.

Our thanks also go to Gilead Sciences for providing financial assistance that allowed us to facilitate the reception and look after such a large number of guests.

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