All registered beneficiaries of the Scottish Infected Blood Support Scheme (SIBSS), the Skipton Fund and others, should have received a letter from the Department of Health (DoH) entitled “Announcement of intent to hold a public inquiry into infected blood” (this is shown at the bottom of this post).
The Scottish Infected Blood Forum recognises the diversity and polarity of opinions in dealing with the Department of Health, including as the ‘sponsoring’ department within the UK Government as it is alleged the DoH is complicit in aspects of the contaminated blood disaster.
Accordingly the Forum is arranging a Member Meeting to canvass the opinions of all members before formally responding in any way with, or to, the consultation process as sponsored by the DoH.
Individual members may wish to respond to the invitation or they may wish to wait until after our next Member Meeting. We understand the range and polarity of views this process has instigated.
Below is an example of one member’s response to the DoH which does not endorse the process but highlights key concerns. This may help inform your opinions.
Notice of the proposed Member Meeting will be posted on the website, and through the normal postal service, as soon as possible. If you have any questions, as always please get in touch.
I received your letter following the announcement that there is to be an inquiry into the “contaminated blood scandal”.
I note with wry interest that this email is being sent to an email address called “infectedbloodinquiry”. This insidious (but not isolated) governmental attempt at minimisation is the reason for my response being to the effect that while I look forward to participating in an inquiry, I do not believe it would be right and proper for this very important matter to be sponsored, led or otherwise facilitated by the Department of Health.
There is an obvious conflict of interest and a legacy of mistrust that would be too much of a barrier. So until the responsibility for sponsoring the inquiry is transferred to a less tainted Department, I will reserve my actual response to the establishment of an inquiry to a later date, other than to note a further attempt at minimisation by summarising the anticipated scope of the inquiry to look only at events that “led up” to the scandal. Please be assured that this has not gone unnoticed and cannot be left unchallenged.
I am a member of the Scottish Infected Blood Forum (SIBF), Haemophilia Scotland and the UK-wide Haemophilia Society, but I have no role other than as a member and I am responding in a personal capacity. The fact that I have responded at all, even to this limited and qualified extent, should not be held out as evidence of your “engagement” with the infected and affected community, or that the DoH has “consulted” with me.
(name withheld on request)
Copy of Department of Health letter: