Press release - 13th November 2012
HOW MANY DID THE NHS REALLY INFECT AND KILL WITH CONTAMINATED BLOOD?
IN a move described by campaigners as encouraging, Lord Penrose today agreed to except further written evidence for his official inquiry in Scotland regarding the thousands of haemophiliacs infected and killed by contaminated blood products in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Other victims of disasters have the right to be identified as such, but queries over the statistics which have been used over the decades are only now going to be fully investigated, following the announcement of the decision after a hearing on Monday 29th October. Lawyers were arguing that many have been infected and some died without accurate details being recorded.
These doubts over the veracity of the same figures which have long been quoted by the Westminster Government to justify its actions, will have major implications for the case being put for a full Government apology and Government inquiry south of the Border – long denied to campaigners - to examine the tragedy and the cover-ups that have taken place over the years.
The Penrose Inquiry final report, is due for release next year.
Campaigning group, Tainted Blood says there is evidence of systemic inaccurate record keeping for haemophiliac HIV sufferers and that this failure can also be applied to those for haemophiliacs infected with Hepatitis C.
Chair of Tainted Blood, Sue Threakall, said: “until now, no one seems to have cared. These people were not just statistics to us: they were husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends! We believe we have a right to have every single one of them counted, and we welcome Lord Penrose’s efforts to reveal the truth.
“The numbers of infected that are commonly used are from the UKHCDO – the United Kingdom Haemophilia Centre Directors Organisation www.ukhcdo.org These statistics as given in evidence to the Penrose inquiry (4,800 HCV, 1,249 HIV and 4,000 exposed to vCJD), have been used for many years and are what we have been led to believe are true. However, if the numbers are inaccurate then the basis of our argument that Government support is wholly inadequate for victims and families of the bereaved, is significantly strengthened.”
“The truth must out. Government Ministers keep saying that all evidence is in the public domain, and yet they should be the very last ones to make these judgements. We need to determine what has happened and expose all the misrecording and cover-ups which have helped deny the thousands of victims the truth and justice.
Tainted blood has recently written to the Prime Minister asking if he will guarantee that haemophiliacs are not also victims of yet another tragedy caused by 1970’s and 80’s political cover up. His office simply passed the letter onto the Department of Health, the very Department at the epicentre of this scandal for the past thirty years!
Don’t we have a right to know how many the NHS infected and killed and what cover-ups there have been? In a month where the press has been full of reports of systemic and institutionalised abuse, Contaminated blood victims say ‘What about us?’ “