Infected Blood Open Letter

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Diana at infected blood scandal protest

Dame Diana Johnson MP & Sir Peter Bottomley MP

Co-chairs, APPG on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood

House of Commons

London

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Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP

Chancellor of the Exchequer

1 Horse Guards Road

Westminster

London

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Sent by email Thursday 29th February

 

Dear Chancellor,

 

Ahead of next week’s Budget, we are writing to seek assurance that you are planning to announce the allocation of sufficient funds to deliver full compensation to victims of the infected blood scandal, in line with the recommendations of the Infected Blood Inquiry.

 

As you know, Sir Brian Langstaff, Chair of the Infected Blood Inquiry, published his final recommendations on compensation on 5 April 2023. The report made 18 detailed recommendations on who should receive compensation and how it should be delivered. In particular, Sir Brian stated that interim compensation payments should be extended to bereaved parents and children. 

 

You will recall that in July 2022 you signed a letter with Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP and Rt Hon Andy Burnham calling on the Government to make the initial tranche of interim payments. You said at the time, “We should do it right away. We’ve waited far too long. Successive governments, which I was part of one, didn’t act as quickly as they should have and we need to recognise this as a terrible, terrible injustice.”[1] We agree – and we hope that you will now apply the same sense of urgency to children who lost parents, and parents who lost children.

 

Furthermore, the Commons voted in December 2023 to move forward with full compensation for those infected and affected by the contaminated blood scandal by establishing an Arms Length Body, as recommended by Sir Brian. We now understand that the Government plan to respect the vote by Members from both sides of the House and are taking steps in the Lords to make sure the Victims and Prisoners Bill covers the whole of the United Kingdom. 

 

Given that Government have had the recommendations of the Infected Blood Inquiry on compensation for over 10 months, we understand that preparations for its delivery should be at an advanced stage. We therefore look forward to you announcing on 6 March the allocation of funds to fully compensate victims of the infected blood scandal – the biggest treatment disaster in the history of the NHS. 

 

We also ask you to provide reassurance in advance of the Budget to all those infected and affected by this appalling scandal that your Statement will explicitly address the contaminated blood scandal and enable the urgent delivery of compensation.

 

Yours sincerely, 

 

Dame Diana Johnson MP                           Sir Peter Bottomley MP 

 

Co-chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood

 

[1] Ex-health secretaries call for immediate payouts to UK blood scandal victims | Contaminated blood scandal | The Guardianhttps://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jul/30/infected-blood-uk-government-urged-to-compensate-victims-immediately

 

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Diane Abbott MP

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Clive Betts

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