The trustees of the Scottish Infected Blood Forum welcome the Prime Minister’s statement issued today.
We are pleased that Mrs May has listened to the concerns of affected individuals, families and stakeholder groups and will hold a Statutory UK-wide Inquiry established by the Cabinet Office, and not by the Department of Health.
Any reasoned person would see that it is untenable for an implicated party to investigate itself; that is what the Department of Health’s previous intention was tantamount to. Diana Johnson MP, co-chair of the APPG on Haemophilia and Contaminated blood, said that would be akin to “asking South Yorkshire Police to lead an inquiry into the Hillsborough disaster”, and there was “overwhelming and unanimous opposition” to the department being involved in the inquiry”. We agree with that analysis.
This is a first step only. There are some key issues still unresolved, including:
We understand the First Secretary of State, Damian Green, will be making further parliamentary statements before the end of the year providing more detail on Inquiry proposals going forward. We will work with Scottish partners, fellow UK stakeholders and the APPG to further advocate for an appropriate resolution to the outstanding issues.