Infected Blood Inquiry

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Inquiry into Contaminated Blood

The taintedblood Timeline  -  what really happened...

"To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay, right or justice."
Magna Carta - 15th June, 1215

 
No of entries selected: 5 of 711
2006
27 February
Lord Warner - Destruction of 600 HIV Litigation Papers
Lord Warner (The Minister of State, Department of Health): "Officials at the Department of Health have established that these documents related to the minutes and papers of the Advisory Committee on the Virological Safety of Blood between 1989 and 1992. These papers were destroyed between July 1994 and March 1998. A decision, most probably made by an inexperienced member of staff, was responsible for the destruction of these files."

Note: It is odd to observe the explanation that these documents were destroyed by "an inexperienced member of staff" when the Government itself (House of Lords) admits just 3 months later that only staff of "Executive Officer Grade or above" (Payband IP2), would have had the authority to do this.

Source: Link #1
Type: House of Lords Written Hansard
Location: UK
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2006
27 February
Department of Health - Publication of Self-sufficiency Report
The Department of Health releases a report into Self Sufficiency in Blood Products in England and Wales, A Chronology from 1973 to 1991.

The report came out of the opinion held by Ministers that the infection of haemophiliacs could have been avoided had the United Kingdom achieved self-sufficiency in blood products; a policy Government initiated in 1975.

Note:
The review conveniently omits important correspondence between Government bodies in the timeframe 1973-79, and instead concentrates more on efforts to address the failings highlighted in the Medicines Inspectorate report of BPL Elstree, which, if they had been any normal business, would certainly have been closed down. However, due to Crown Immunity, the Government avoided the closure of BPL and they continued to process blood products in a condemned facility. The question must therefore be asked as to why this facility was allowed to fall into such disrepair?

Source: Link #1
Press Release, 27 February 2006
Link #3
Type: Report - Chronology
Location: UK
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2006
27 February
Press Statement - Review Published on Infected Blood Products
The Department of Health publishes a report into how patients were infected with Hepatitis C and HIV through contaminated blood in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The press release presents conclusions as fact rather than opinions, whereas the Department of Health report itself concludes that "The information gathered during this review has been at times contradictory and incomplete, but the following conclusions can be "inferred"."

Note: The report is a review which focuses upon "surviving" documents from 1973 (when a decision was made to pursue self-sufficiency for England and Wales) to 1991 (when a validated screening test for HCV was introduced in the UK).

Source:
Type: Press Release - Department of Health
Location: UK
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2006
28 February
Haemophilia Society - Condemns Department of Health Self-sufficiency Report
The Haemophilia Society condemns the report by the Department of Health into self-sufficiency in blood products as "an attempt to gloss over the details of a medical disaster that left a generation of people with haemophilia infected with life-threatening viruses."

The following shortcomings are mentioned:

  • The report does not have a named author
  • There is no mention of what information was given to patients regarding the safety of products to enable them to give informed consent
  • The report fails to mention the use of UK prison blood in clotting factors
  • The report fails to explain why the phased redevelopment of the Government facility for producing blood products took a year to implement and why the laboratory was allowed to continue manufacturing whilst having been declared 'unfit' under the Medicines Act 1968.
Haemophilia Society Press Release Feb 06
Source: Haemophilia Society Press Release February 2006
Type: Press Release
Location: UK
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2006
24 May
Lord Warner - Recovery of HIV Litigation Papers
"My Lords, we have established that a number of documents that have been disclosed by the department in the HIV and hepatitis C litigation were held by Blackett Hart & Pratt Solicitors. It agreed to return the papers to our solicitors, who are now considering them with other departmental officials. Advice has yet to be given to Ministers on the significance of the returned files."
Source: Link #1
Type: House of Lord - Written Hansard - Shredded Documents
Location: UK
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Timeline Copyright ©2006 Andrew March & Haydn Lewis
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