Health Inquiry: How Did 2400 Britons Die From Contaminated Blood?

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Health Inquiry: How Did 2400 Britons Die From Contaminated Blood?

The government is to hold a full inquiry into how thousands of people were infected with hepatitis C and HIV following blood transfusions in the 1970s and 1980s, Downing Street has announced.

Health Minister Philip Dunne is due to give further details in the House of Commons on Thursday.

Now, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May has said the new inquiry will establish the causes of the "appalling injustice", the BBC reported.

Because of a shortage of blood products in Britain, the NHS bought much of its stock from U.S. suppliers whose donors, including prisoners and other groups at high risk of infection, had been paid for their blood.

The PM's official spokesman said the UK-wide inquiry could mirror the Hillsborough investigation with a jury - or be a judge-led statutory probe like Grenfell Tower. "They have been let down by all political parties and public bodies", he said.

The current mayor of Greater Manchester said he had received damning claims from victims and demanded an inquiry into what appeared to be an "orchestrated cover up".

An estimated 7,500 were treated with infected blood products and of that number more than 2,400 are believed to have died since. It called what happened "the stuff of nightmares" and prompted an apology from David Cameron, the prime minister at the time, to victims and their families.

Katie Walford with her father David Hatton a haemophiliac who died as a result of being given contaminated
Katie Walford with her father David Hatton a haemophiliac who died as a result of being given contaminated

Donors in both the USA and United Kingdom at the time included prison inmates, where drug use was an added risk.

Julie Morgan, who chairs the Assembly's cross-party group on haemophilia and contaminated blood, said 70 Welsh people died and many were "still suffering".

Beginning the debate in the Commons, Johnson, the Hull North MP, said the best approach appeared likely to be a Hillsborough-style panel.

"It was obviously a serious systemic failure".

The announcement of a public inquiry is fantastic news for the families affected.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the announcement of the inquiry, which he said should have the potential to trigger prosecutions.

Liz Carroll, chief executive of The Haemophilia Society, said: "The government has for decades denied negligence and refused to provide compensation to those affected, this inquiry will finally be able to properly consider evidence of wrongdoing".

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