Infected Blood Compensation Scheme Debate

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Department: Cabinet Office

Infected Blood Compensation Scheme

Jason McCartney Excerpts
Tuesday 21st May 2024

(2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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John Glen Portrait John Glen
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Of course, many of these events happened over a very wide timespan going back 40 or 50 years, but the issue is what we can do going forward. The hon. Lady makes a reasonable point about involving the infected and affected communities in this process. One of the things that I have mentioned is the arm’s length body having sufficient distance from Government to give confidence to the community. We need to get that right, and we need to ensure that the appropriate governance is in place so that the representatives of those communities can have meaningful influence in how they engage, and on the wider issues that she mentioned.

Jason McCartney Portrait Jason McCartney (Colne Valley) (Con)
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I really welcome this detailed and thorough statement, and I welcome it on behalf of two of the victims in particular. The first is an unnamed constituent who came to my first-ever advice surgery back in 2010 at Huddersfield town hall. He told me how, during a blood transfusion, he had been infected with HIV, hepatitis C and CJD. The second victim is Mel McKay, who is not a constituent but lives on the east coast of Yorkshire. We have become friends over many years while campaigning on this issue. As well as delivering the compensation rapidly, can the Minister also confirm that there will be no time limits at all on when the victims start applying and completing their applications for compensation?

John Glen Portrait John Glen
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We will be having a review after three years to look at what the lifespan of the arm’s length body should be. I acknowledge the challenge for people with multiple conditions, and that is why I mentioned multiple awards in my statement. That was one of the issues that the independent expert panel grappled with. We want to make this accessible to everyone who is entitled, and I do not want to have unnecessary artificial cut-off points, but we also need to ensure that we have an organisation that is fit for purpose to deliver this quickly.