The Mayor of Greater Manchester and former Secretary of State for Health (2009-2010), Andy Burnham, will give evidence at the Infected Blood Inquiry tomorrow (Friday 15th July).
Andy was crucial in questioning the Government’s historic veil of silence over the contaminated blood scandal, calling it a “criminal cover-up on an industrial scale” in his last Parliamentary speech as an MP in April 2017. He wanted it put on record that he believed MPs had failed thousands of patients involved and called-out the fact victims had been treated as ‘guinea pigs’ with medical records either falsified or withheld.
Des Collins, Senior Partner Collins Solicitors and adviser to over 1500 victims of the infected blood scandal, comments:
“We are grateful to figures like Andy who helped shine a light on the need for fresh thinking and a fresh approach to this terrible scandal which occurred within the NHS and blighted the lives of so many for so long. His evidence on Friday is likely to be hugely insightful.
“Whilst he did not provide any silver bullet solutions to this matter of historic injustice, he recognised that victims needed to hold those responsible to account as well as to obtain fair financial compensation which is not based on charity. His written statement suggests there was a fierce resistance within the Civil Service to anything that opened the Government to potential negligence action or indeed to investigate its own actions by way of a public inquiry. It is highly likely, therefore, that Andy’s bold threat to involve the police was a factor in breaking the impasse and Theresa May finally announcing a statutory public inquiry in May 2017.
“Although Andy has no direct influence over the Treasury’s present consideration of a potential compensation framework for victims, we hope he will continue to use his profile and understanding of victims’ stories to champion the right course for them. Sadly, the need for truth, accountability and compensation remains as important and overdue now as when he spoke out in 2017.”
Andy Burnham’s evidence to be the subject of questioning on Friday, can be viewed here.
Collins Solicitors Media Enquiries:
To interview Des Collins or any of the firm’s clients willing to speak on this issue, please contact:
Bell Yard Communications: BellYard@bell-yard.com
Louise Beeson: firstname.lastname@example.org / Mob: 07768 956997
Declan Flahive: email@example.com / Mob: 07944 629485
Notes for editors
The Infected Blood 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. Hearings can be attended in person or followed live on the Infected Blood Inquiry website/YouTube channel