07 June 2022
REACTION TO SIR ROBERT FRANCIS QC’S REPORT
Des Collins, Senior Partner at Collins Solicitors, legal advisor to over 1,500 victims of the infected blood scandal, comments on today’s report from Sir Robert Francis QC which lays out the basis for the victims’ compensation framework:
“At long last, in Sir Robert’s report, it’s clear the government is encouraged to recognise the need to compensate the thousands of victims of this terrible scandal. The report is a considered piece of work that deserves recognition and scrutiny in equal measure. However, at first glance, the recommendations appear to contain sensible solutions to many of the problems that have beset the victims for over 40 years. In many ways, those who have suffered so much for so long will take some comfort from this report. Although, as always, the devil will be in the detail which we have not yet had the opportunity to examine.
“We will be advising clients based on our assessment of the framework options provided to government once we have had the chance to thoroughly review the proposals and hear Sir Robert’s evidence in July.
“It’s just crucial that the right framework is agreed and implemented by government as soon as reasonably possible so as to help end the daily challenges that continue to be faced by victims of the biggest treatment disaster in NHS history.
“That said, this is undoubtedly an historic day for the many campaigners who have fought so hard for up to 40 years to have their suffering and those of their loved ones recognised and compensated by Government. Our thoughts are with them all. There’s still much to do, but this report is certainly a meaningful step in the right direction.”
For further information and interviews with Des Collins, please contact:
Bell Yard Communications: BellYard@bell-yard.com
Notes to editors
In May 2021, the then paymaster general, Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, announced that Sir Robert Francis QC had been appointed to examine options for a framework for compensation before the inquiry reports its findings. Sir Robert Francis QC chaired the public inquiry into the scandal at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. Today, the paymaster general, Michael Ellis QC MP, published the Francis report.
Sir Robert Francis QC is due to give evidence to the Infected Blood Inquiry on Monday 11th July and Tuesday 12th July. Notably, Sir John Major will be giving evidence to the Inquiry on Monday 27th June.
The Inquiry, chaired by Sir Brian Langstaff, is the UK’s largest ever statutory inquiry, established to investigate how men women and children were given infected blood and blood products by the NHS from the 1970s. It is currently continuing its hearings remotely which can be followed live on the Infected Blood Inquiry website/YouTube channel.
Sir Brian Langstaff was appointed to chair the Infected Blood Inquiry on 8 February 2018.
The consultation conducted by the Chair of the Infected Blood Inquiry, Sir Brian Langstaff, and the Inquiry Team on the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference generated nearly 700 responses.