Blood scandal victim welcomes inquiry

Blood scandal victim welcomes inquiry

8 November 2017

A DOWNPATRICK man who contracted hepatitis C in a contaminated blood scandal has welcomed the announcement of a Cabinet Office-led statutory inquiry.

Brian Carberry (50) has been at the centre for a campaign for justice after imported supplies of a blood clotting agent are thought to have killed at least 2,400 people.

Brian grew up with haemophilia, which prevents blood from clotting properly. Requiring regular transfusions, he was infected with hepatitis C along the way, which has had a devastating effect on his health ever since.

During the 1970s and 1980s the UK imported supplies of the clotting agent Factor VIII from the US. However, some of the samples were infected, with some of the plasma used to make the clotting agent coming from prison inmates in America who sold their blood.

On Friday the UK government confirmed that the inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal announced back in July will be a full statutory inquiry and not led by the Department of Health.

Brian said he welcomed the progress made, but still wants the government to indicate that the inquiry will be independent of state.

“The names of the inquiry board should be identified and a timeframe set in place for taking evidence and publishing the report,” he said. 

“I want truth and justice to prevail and for this inquiry to be independent, meaningful and to produce a strong report with a series of actions for implementation.”

Former South Down MP, Margaret Ritchie, has been at the forefront of a campaign for local victims.

“The British Government announced last Friday evening that the inquiry into the contaminated bloods scandal would be undertaken by the Cabinet Office and would be statutory based under the Inquiries Act of 2005,” she said.

“Whilst this is a welcome move, we still await the name of the chairman; if that chairman will be independent of government; who else will sit in the inquiry Board and when work will commence.

“In view of Brian’s direct concerns, I will be making further representations to the Prime Minister requesting accelerated action and a solution in respect of the victims of contaminated bloods scandal”.