Victims of a historic blood scandal are being urged to come forward in the call for justice as a public inquiry is set to begin today (Monday).
Following repeated calls over the past 30 years for a statutory public inquiry to be held into the scandal, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people, Parliament will announce the terms of reference for the inquiry on Monday (2ndJuly).
Called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS, the infected blood scandal saw thousands across the UK infected with HIV and Hepatitis C from contaminated blood products introduced through transfusions and other treatments.
With the first hearing due in September 2018, victims are now being encouraged to come forward to give evidence.
Julie Morgan, Assembly Member for Cardiff North, said:
“I have been involved with this campaign for nearly two decades after a constituent asked me to get involved when I was an MP.
“It has been a long and hard road to get to this stage – to finally get a judge-led public inquiry, after two previous inquiries didn’t bring families closure over this awful scandal, is a major achievement.
“I’m glad the terms and conditions have now been agreed so we can now move forward to seek truth and justice for the very many Welsh families who have lost loved ones and who have been affected by this.”
Lynne Kelly, chair of Haemophilia Wales, said:
“Monday’s announcement will be a pivotal moment for these families, who have seen their lives torn apart for more than 30 years through no fault of their own.
“We welcome the work that is about to be done to investigate the contaminated blood scandal and we urge all victims to come forward and help us move forward on our mission to get to the truth.”
After leading the legal fight for justice for the past three years with Julie Morgan and Haemophilia Wales, solicitor Michael Imperato of Watkins & Gunn said:
“Thousands of people were treated with contaminated blood products. So far, more than half of them have died.
“It is vital that victims and their families tell their stories to the Inquiry. We would urge people to put their evidence before the Public Inquiry and to feel free contact us for provide assistance with no cost.
“Victims and their families now have an opportunity to get to the truth and hold those responsible to account, to see justice finally done after all these years.”