Recommendations of the Infected Blood Inquiry

Monday 13th May 2024

(1 month ago)

Petitions
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The petition of residents of the constituency of Kingston upon Hull North
Declares that people who received infected blood and who have suffered as a consequence have, along with their families, waited far too long for redress.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to implement the recommendations in the Second Interim Report of the Infected Blood Inquiry without delay.
And the petitioners remain etc.—[Presented by Dame Diana Johnson, Official Report, 12 March 2024; Vol. 747, c. 273.]
[P00294623]
Petitions in the same terms were presented by the hon. Member for West Ham (Ms Lyn Brown) [P002928]; the hon. Member for Lancaster and Fleetwood (Cat Smith) [P002927]; the hon. Member for Linlithgow and East Falkirk (Martyn Day) [P002930]; the hon. Member for York Central (Rachael Maskell) [P002938]; the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne) [P002935]; the hon. Member for Glasgow South West (Chris Stephens) [P002932]; the hon. Member for Northampton South (Lillian Greenwood) [P002922]; the hon Member for Batley and Spen (Kim Leadbeater) [P002943]; the hon. Member for Newport West (Ruth Jones) [P002940]; the hon. Member for Weaver Vale (Mike Amesbury) [P002941]; the hon. Member for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock (Allan Dorans) [P002946]; the hon. Member for Eltham (Clive Efford) [P002934]; the hon. Member for Luton South (Rachel Hopkins) [P002949]; the hon. Member for Glasgow Central (Alison Thewliss) [P002952]; the hon. Member for Washington and Sunderland West (Mrs Sharon Hodgson) [P002955]; the hon. Member for Wansbeck (Ian Lavery) [P002951]; the hon. Member for West Lancashire (Ashley Dalton) [P002953]; the hon. Member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West (Michael Shanks) [P002957]; the right hon. Member for Walsall South (Valerie Vaz) [P002954]; the hon. Member for South Shields (Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck) [P002963]; the hon. Member for Glasgow North (Patrick Grady) [P002962]; the hon. Member for Strangford (Jim Shannon) [P002960]; the hon. Member for Worcester (Robin Walker) [P002967]; the hon. Member for Worsley and Eccles South (Barbara Keeley) [P002971]; the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Alex Davies-Jones) [P002970]; the hon. Member for North East Fife (Wendy Chamberlain) [P002968]; the hon. Member for Neath (Christina Rees) [P002939]; the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Wayne David) [P002973]; the hon. Member for Blaydon (Liz Twist) [P002950]; the hon. Member for Halifax (Holly Lynch) [P002975]; and the hon. Member for Gower (Tonia Antoniazzi) [P002975].
Observation from the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General (John Glen): The Government are grateful to the right hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull North; the hon. Members for West Ham, for Lancaster and Fleetwood, for Linlithgow and East Falkirk, for York Central, for Denton and Reddish, for Glasgow South West, for Nottingham South, for Batley and Spen, for Newport West, for Weaver Vale, for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, for Eltham, for Luton South, for Glasgow Central, for Washington and Sunderland West, for Wansbeck, for West Lancashire, and for Rutherglen and Hamilton West; my right hon. Friend the Member for Walsall South; the hon. Members for South Shields, for Glasgow North, and for Strangford; my hon. Friend the Member for Worcester; and the hon. Members for Worsley and Eccles South, for Pontypridd, for North East Fife, for Neath, for Caerphilly, for Blaydon, for Halifax, and for Gower for submitting petitions on behalf of their constituents concerning the Government’s response to the infected blood inquiry, and particularly the issue of final compensation recommendations made by Sir Brian Langstaff.
The Government acknowledge that victims of infected blood have been waiting far too long to see justice and we are progressing this work with urgency.
The Government have accepted the moral case for compensation and, starting in October 2022, made interim payments of £100,000 available to chronic infected beneficiaries and bereaved partners registered with existing support schemes. These payments continue to be made to eligible beneficiaries upon being accepted on to the schemes.
However, we recognise there is more still to be done. On 30 April, Government amendments were added to the Victims and Prisoners Bill. The Government amendments impose a duty on the Government to establish an infected blood compensation scheme. It also establishes a new arm’s length body, named the Infected Blood Compensation Authority, to deliver the compensation scheme. The authority will operate on a UK-wide basis to ensure parity and consistency. The Government also agreed to deliver the regulations establishing an infected blood compensation scheme within three months of Royal Assent. This demonstrates our absolute commitment to paying compensation to those infected and affected by infected blood.
Additionally, in order to progress this work as swiftly as possible, a shadow body will be established by 20 May, led by an interim chief executive. This will be critical to getting the practical work in place to ensure the Infected Blood Compensation Authority can be fully operational as soon as possible. The shadow body will be able to begin work, such as implementing IT systems and appointing staff, which is needed for assessing and delivering compensation payments as quickly as possible.
The Government amendment also includes a statutory duty to make interim payments of £100,000 to estates of deceased infected people who were registered with existing or former support schemes, where previous interim payments have not already been made to infected individuals or their bereaved partners. This is an important step forward to get substantial compensation into the hands of families of victims of infected blood.
The Government will make a substantive update to Parliament responding to the infected blood inquiry’s recommendations on compensation as soon as possible following 20 May. It is important that the Government await the findings of the inquiry’s final report, but Ministers are clear that the inquiry’s recommendations should form the basis of any response.