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Media Statement 17/04/24 – Des Collins Comments on Government Announcement Re Victims & Prisoners Bill

Today the Government has tabled an amendment to the Victims & Prisoners Bill to provide a legal framework to establish a UK wide compensation scheme for victims of the infected blood scandal and an arms length body to deliver it.

There are also provisions to make interim payments to the estates of people who have died and Terms of Reference for the expert group who will advise the government on compensation.

Victims & Prisoners Bill

This is, of course, welcome news and finally a progress step, albeit an administrative one. With no commitment on time frames, a promised pot of money or information on what the scheme will look like, it’s not quite the moment to celebrate yet. As ever the devil will be in the detail to come.


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. Following an intervention by Sir Brian, the Government made interim payments of £100,00 last October to those victims of the infected blood scandal still alive and a small number of widows. This left other victims of the scandal such as orphans and relatives still in limbo. On 5th April 2023, Sir Brian published his Second Interim Report recommending that interim payments of £100,000 should be made in respect of deaths not yet recognised to “alleviate immediate suffering”. The Final Report of the Infected Blood Inquiry will be published on 20 May 2024.