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UK inquiry exposes contaminated blood scandal cover up

British authorities knowingly provided patients with contaminated blood, resulting in thousands of deaths and lifelong illnesses.

A report from a five-year public inquiry has explained how an estimated 3,000 people died and others were left with lifelong illnesses after the public health service knowingly exposed them to deadly infections.

Patients received contaminated blood and blood products from National Health Services (NHS) in England in the 1970s to 90s. This has left more than 30,000 people infected with Hepatitis C and/or HIV.

Victims included people who received blood transfusions during surgery and those who were given blood plasma for treatment of haemophilia.

The Infected Blood Inquiry, which ran for five years, concluded on Monday with a report which indicated successive governments, doctors, and the NHS knew the risks involved but continued to treat patients.

The report also found that those affected were not told they had received contaminated blood and many had to fight to have their claims taken seriously.

Chair of the inquiry Brian Langstaff said authorities over the years had “compounded the agony by refusing to accept that wrong had been done”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak apologised to victims and promised to compensate them for their suffering.

“Today’s report shows a decades-long moral failure at the heart of our national life,” he said. “I want to make a wholehearted and unequivocal apology.”

The Chief Executive of NHS England Amanda Pritchard apologised on behalf of the health service for the role they played.

“I want to say sorry not just for the actions which led to life-altering and life-limiting illness, but also for the failures to clearly communicate, investigate and mitigate risks to patients,” she said.


Photo: Checking Blood Sample by National Eye Institute is available HERE and is used under a Creative Commons Licence. This image has not been modified.

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