Second week of Infected Blood Inquiry hearings to begin on 7th May 2019

Second week of Infected Blood Inquiry witness hearings begin on 7th May 2019

Last week the Infected Blood Inquiry held its first witness hearings and heard the harrowing tales of how Haemophiliacs in the 1970’s and 1980’s were infected with Hepatitis C or Hepatitis C & HIV through Factor Concentrates and the fall-out that followed. On Tuesday 7th May 2019 the Inquiry will begin its second round of hearings, beginning with Lauren Palmer (member of Factor 8) who lost both of her parents to the scandal just a matter of days apart when she was a child.

Jason Evans (Founder of Factor 8) said: “We heard some extremely powerful testimony from the Haemophilia community last week including a Widow who was also unwittingly infected by her husband, these accounts have been truly horrifying”.

“This week will begin with testimony from Lauren Palmer who is the first person to give evidence that lost a parent to Factor VIII, in Lauren’s case both of her parents died, as her Mother was also infected with both Hepatitis C and HIV from her Father”.

The hearings begin again on Tuesday 7th May 2019 at Fleetbank House in London.

Hearing Dates & Locations

·        London (Fleetbank House) - 30 April-3 May, 7-10 May

·        Belfast (International Conference Centre Belfast, Waterfront Hall) - 21-24 May

·        London (Fleetbank House) - 4-7 June

·        Leeds (Crowne Plaza Hotel) - 11-14 June, 18-21 June

·        Edinburgh (Edinburgh International Conference Centre) - 2-5 July, 8-11 July

·        Cardiff (Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama) - 23-26 July

·        London (Fleetbank House) - 8-11 October, 15-18 October

How can I watch the Public Inquiry hearings?

As the Inquiry is a Public Inquiry, anyone can attend in person to watch the hearings. It is though wise to contact the Inquiry beforehand. Additionally, the Hearings will be streamed Live on the internet via the Infected Blood Inquiry’s YouTube channel.

Lead up to the Infected Blood Inquiry

The Infected Blood Inquiry was announced by Prime Minister Theresa May on 11th July 2017. It was announced following a succession of Press, Political and Legal pressures – notably, a Group Litigation Order in relation to Factor VIII & IX was lodged in the High Court by Collins Solicitors (Acting for some 1,400 clients), one week prior, on 4th July 2017. In September 2018 the Inquiry held its Opening Hearings over three days at Church House in London, where Opening Statements were made by a variety of parties including the legal representatives of infected Haemophiliacs / their families and by the Department of Health and others.

Historical Background

 The Contaminated Blood Scandal is the event of approximately 3,891 people in the UK (mostly Haemophiliacs) being infected with HIV and/or Hepatitis C by a commercial plasma-derived Medicine known as Factor VIII. At least 31 partners of those people were infected with HIV.

Factor VIII was made by pooling, or, mixing together many thousands of plasma donations, the products were processed, boxed, shipped and sold as Factor VIII Concentrate. The UK imported most of the products it used from US pharmaceutical companies during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Products that were given to UK patients at the time included Factorate, Hemofil, Kryobulin, Profilate, Koate & BPL. The companies that produced infected concentrates during this time were then subsidiary companies of Bayer, Revlon Healthcare, Baxter, BPL, Immuno AG and Alpha Theraputics.

The tragedy of infected Factor VIII is the largest loss-of-life incident in modern Britain with total Haemophiliac deaths confirmed as surpassing 1,500. Though other figures claiming a higher death-toll have been occasionally mentioned by some, they are currently without source or proof.

See https://www.factor8scandal.uk/the-fallout for sourced figures.

Please note that Factor VIII is a plasma-derived medicine and NOT a “blood transfusion”, Factor VIII should NOT be described as blood in reporting.

Learn about the difference between Factor VIII and blood here.

Get Royalty Free Images & Video of Factor VIII from us for reporting here - https://www.dropbox.com/sh/trdn976mplmp7ki/AADmhb2WWKWmw2DIE5zUBZs7a?dl=0

Get Royalty Free Images & Video of campaigners from us for reporting here –https://showcase.dropbox.com/s/Contaminated-Blood-Scandal-campaign-pictures-2Lua6lVvwSUwp3Ra8yAeI

What do victims / families want?

Although exact opinions vary, a common thread is that victims / families want the Government and Pharmaceutical companies involved in the manufacture / supply of Factor VIII to people with Haemophilia in the 70’s/80’s to accept liability for what happened, and they want the truth of what happened placing on record.

How long will the Inquiry take?

It is hard for anyone to say with certainty. Estimates have ranged from 2 – 5 years. The Inquiry was announced in July 2017 and is only now beginning witness hearings in April 2019, this is due to a series of missed deadlines and delays by the Government. Victims also face restricted legal funding which has hampered progress.

Can we speak to someone from Factor 8?

·        Yes, please contact Jason Evans (Founder of Factor 8) on 020 8123 3488 or contact@factor8scandal.uk

·        We also suggest contacting Collins Solicitors who are legally representing the majority of infected / affected Core Participants. Please speak to Will Hulbert on  will@hulbertandco.com / 01603 431936 who can assist with press enquiries for Collins.

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