A public inquiry into one of the NHS’ biggest scandals has begun. The investigation into how thousands of people were treated with contaminated blood products has taken more than 30 years to get underway and could last up to three years.
Sophie-Ann Bridges, a solicitor in our Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Department, explains why it’s a crucial hearing for those affected and their families:
During the late 1970s and 1980s patients with conditions such as haemophilia were treated with blood products that had been donated by high-risk sources and were infected with HIV, Hepatitis C and other blood-borne viruses.
The risk of infection from the blood products was known in the early 1970s but patients were not told of the risk and continued to be treated unsafely. A parliamentary report has revealed that the blood products infected 7,500 people with nearly 3,000 dying and more infected by Hepatitis C or HIV.
The Infected Blood inquiry will hear from people affected by the scandal and their families. Among its aims are to establish whether the Government, NHS or other organisations were responsible for the failings, whether there was a deliberate cover-up and what impact it has had on those infected. It will also look at recommendations for the future.
This scandal has caused devastating harm to patients and their families. If infected blood products have affected you or a family member, please consult our Clinical Negligence Team for guidance and advice on a potential legal case.
Sophie is a member of our specialist Medical Negligence and Multi Track Teams assisting with high value and complex catastrophic injury claims including brain and spinal injuries. She can be contacted at the details below.