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Caroline Welcomes Announcement of Infected Blood Compensation

Caroline Welcomes Announcement Of Infected Blood Compensation

Today Rt Hon John Glen, Paymaster General and Member of Parliament for Salisbury, set out the Government’s proposed scheme to Parliament, which involved the establishment of the Infected Blood Compensation Authority (IBCA). Sir Robert Francis, a British barrister with experience of high-profile medical controversies, was named as the Chair of this body.

Caroline Welcomes Announcement Of Infected Blood Compensation

The Scheme operated by the IBCA will compensate for both past and future losses suffered as a result of infected blood. The total package is said to be worth around £10 billion. In the meantime interim payments of £210,000 will be made to living infected beneficiaries.

Caroline Welcomes Announcement Of Infected Blood Compensation

On Monday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made a ‘wholehearted and unequivocal” apology to the victims of the scandal in a statement in the House of Commons.

Caroline Welcomes Announcement Of Infected Blood Compensation

A few hours earlier, Sir Brian Langstaff, Chair of the Infected Blood Inquiry, presented the Inquiry’s Final Report at Central Hall in Westminster. The Report revealed a litany of failings across Government, stating that infections that led to deaths, illness, and suffering were caused needlessly, and many infections could have been prevented.

Caroline Welcomes Announcement Of Infected Blood Compensation

Caroline was in the audience to hear his presentation, a heartbreaking recapitulation of failings stretching back decades.

Caroline Welcomes Announcement Of Infected Blood Compensation

Sir Brian concluded: “Every aspect of their [victims’] lives has been defined by their infections – childhood; education; career; leisure; relationships; marriages; home ownership; travel; finances; dreams and ambitions have been lost and relationships broken.”

Caroline Welcomes Announcement Of Infected Blood Compensation

Caroline has long been a champion of the victims of the Infected Blood Scandal.

In a 2010 debate on Contaminated Blood and Blood Products in the House of Commons, Caroline spoke about a Gosport constituent who had died after contracting HIV and hepatitis C. At that debate Caroline called for fair compensation for victims and their families.

In a 2015 debate on Contaminated Blood, Caroline rose to raise the plight of victims, highlighting their betrayal by trusts, departments, and the Government.

Last year, Caroline supported an amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill, tabled by Dame Diana Johnson, that narrowly passed a vote in the House of Commons. The amendment sought to establish a body to ensure compensation for victims within three months of the Bill passing.

Speaking at the presentation of the Infected Blood Inquiry’s Final Report, Caroline said:

“The announcement of a compensation body for infected blood victims today is long overdue. Whilst it is welcome, it will be of very little solace to those who have lost loved ones in this horrific scandal, in my constituency and across the country.

“There are so many lessons to be learned for present and future Governments, and I am glad that in the meantime the Prime Minister has issued a full apology on behalf of Governments stretching back decades.

“I have been involved in this campaign since I was first elected on behalf of constituents who are impacted.

“The Government has now set out its plan to deliver compensation to everyone affected by this scandal, and I hope that this is delivered fairly and swiftly.”

In his statement to Parliament, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“Today is a day for the victims and their families to hear the full truth acknowledged by all and, in the full presence of that truth, to remember the many, many lost loved ones.

“Justice demands action and accountability, so I make two solemn promises. First, we will pay comprehensive compensation to those infected and those affected by this scandal, accepting the principles recommended by the inquiry, which builds on the work of Sir Robert Francis. Whatever it costs to deliver the scheme, we will pay it.

“Secondly, it is not enough to say sorry, pay long-overdue compensation and then attempt to move on. There can be no moving on from a report that is so devastating in its criticisms. Sir Brian and his team have made wide-ranging recommendations. We will study them in detail before returning to the House with a full response.

“We must fundamentally rebalance the system so that we finally address the pattern, so familiar from other inquiries such as Hillsborough, where innocent victims have to fight for decades just to be believed.”

Announcing the Infected Blood Compensation Authority, Paymaster General John Glen said:

“Sir Brian could not have been clearer: it is not just the harm caused by the infections that requires compensation. The wrongs suffered by those affected must also be compensated for, so when a person with an eligible infection has been accepted on to the scheme, their affected loved ones will be able to apply for compensation in their own right.

“That means that partners, parents, siblings, children, friends and family who have acted as carers for those who were infected are all eligible to claim.”

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