Delight over blood inquiry

SIR, — I am heartened to learn that the independent inquiry into the Contaminated Bloods Inquiry will begin evidence sessions in September, some 14 months after it was initially launched. 

It was announced on Monday in a House of Commons statement by a Cabinet Office Minister that the terms of reference had been agreed with the chair, the government and the devolved administrations.

This was one of the biggest scandals of the National Health Service in the 1970s and 80s when many people were infected with contaminated blood products. Some of these people lived in Northern Ireland and sadly many have died.  

In this context, it is important that this inquiry brings closure for many victims and their families; that it shines a light on what and why it happened and what actions will be recommended for government action and implementation to ensure that such a scandal never happens again.

The government must provide fulsome apologies and accept responsibility for what happened — if that is found to be the 

case — and compensation provided to all those affected and their families.

I am also pleased that the inquiry will investigate any potential cover ups. It is important that this does happen as this inquiry must bring final closure for all victims and their families.

I would urge all those victims and their families in Northern Ireland to participate in the evidence sessions. This inquiry covers Northern Ireland and Britain and I look forward to the outcomes and a final resolution for all the victims and their families.

Yours etc,


Former South Down MP.