Apology to victims of infected blood scandal

From: Scottish Government
Published: Wed May 22 2024

First Minister makes statement in parliament.

First Minister John Swinney has formally apologised on behalf of the government to everyone who has been infected or affected as a result of infected NHS blood or blood products in Scotland.

Yesterday, the Infected Blood Inquiry Chair Sir Brian Langstaff made clear in the report that the situation was a result of “systemic, collective, and individual failures”.

The First Minister said:

“More than 30,000 people across the UK were infected by contaminated blood products and transfusions between the 1970s and 1991 - with around 3,000 of those here in Scotland. That is 3,000 families in Scotland who have faced decades of unnecessary heartbreak and pain. They have been failed by the organisations and process that should have been in place to protect and support them and I am sorry.

“Those infected and impacted by this tragedy have worked tirelessly to ensure that its impact, and their suffering, is not ignored - and to ensure that what they have endured is never repeated.

“People who were infected with HIV or hepatitis as a result of NHS treatment have endured unimaginable suffering, and I know that Infected Blood Inquiry report published yesterday, will not heal wounds nor bring back those love ones who have been lost. I do, however, hope that it is a step forward in the journey towards a semblance of justice and a better future.

“The Scottish Government has already accepted the moral case for compensation for infected blood victims and we are committed to working with the UK Government to ensure any compensation scheme builds on the interim compensation which was paid out in 2022 and works as well as possible for victims.

“The Scottish Government will take forward the Inquiry's recommendations for Scotland along with charities representing the infected and affected.

“We are determined to use the Inquiry's report to ensure lessons have been learned so a tragedy like this can never happen again. The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service has extremely high standards of blood safety and I would continue to encourage anyone who can do so to give blood, as this remains essential for thousands of patients.”


First Minister responds to UK Infected Blood Inquiry Final Report - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

Company: Scottish Government

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