What's happening with the Contaminated Blood Inquiry?

We know that most of you are not able to keep track of absolutely everything so we thought it would be helpful to outline, in simple terms, how things stand as of today (Tuesday 15th August 2017) with the Inquiry.

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Our clear view and the legal opinion remain absolutely unchanged in that:

-There should be a Statutory Public Inquiry under the 2005 Act;
-A Chair must be appointed immediately; and,
-The Department of Health should play no part whatsoever in setting the remit of the Inquiry.
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As of today, â–ªï¸NO Inquiry has been established. â–ªï¸NO chair has been appointed and ▪️ the Department of Health REMAIN in charge.

Our views have been repeatedly conveyed to the Prime Minister, Department of Health and other interested persons and bodies for over a month by ourselves, by lawyers, by other groups, by MP's, by practically everyone. The message from virtually all Campaign Groups and affected persons is basically identical.

Despite this, the Department of Health has not been removed from consulting on the Inquiry and instead they have attempted to pull out a bag of tricks 🎩 to attempt to bypass the boycott.

In a letter received by Factor 8 Campaign UK from the Department of Health yesterday (14/08/17), they say that "an update on the Inquiry will be given in the Autumn" (which could technically be as late as just before Christmas). ðŸ™„

Obviously, this is not good enough. We see no reason for this delay, or any further discussions or meetings at this stage until things change.

It was indeed our fear early on that an effort would be made to "kick the inquiry into the long grass 🐢" or to attempt to persuade victims toward a powerless panel, as opposed to a full statutory Public Inquiry. Both of these derailment moves, in our opinion, are currently being attempted, subtly, but attempted none the less.

Let's remember until forced by very recent legal, press and political pressures, all Governments (including this one) did not want this to happen, they said so multiple times, they were, in fact, unshakeable in their stance that there would not be an Inquiry.

In summary, since the announcement of the Inquiry, nothing of substance has happened. A month has been wasted and that is the fault of the Government, their officials and civil servants. We wish the news was better.

Fortunately, it is a fight we were prepared for, tactics we knew were coming and we will carry on fighting. We must not and will not let up the pressure now.

We will continue to drive home the message, move forward and help to make your views known.✊

Please remember that for legal advice and representation at the Inquiry (which we cannot provide you with) we advise you to contact Collins Solicitors who are representing over 500 people (or their bereaved family members) affected by contaminated Factor 8/9 products.

https://www.facebook.com/ContaminatedFactor8/posts/1550941244969370

Non-Transparency - MP Template

Below is a template you can send to your MP in regards to lack of transparency on the issue of Contaminated Blood by the Department of Health.

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Dear MP,

As you may be aware victims and their families affected by the Contaminated Blood Scandal are campaigning for a full public inquiry into "Factor Concentrate" products, which infected people with Hepatitis C & HIV.

On 22nd June 2017 the Department of Health gave a statement to ITV News (http://www.itv.com/news/central/2017-06-22/fight-for-justice-after-dad-given-contaminated-blood/) stating that they do not wish to investigate this matter which has killed so many Haemophiliacs. The department of Health said that they are "committed to transparency on this issue". Transparency however, does not seem to be forthcoming at all.

Only last month the Government decided to withhold a bundle of documents concerning "Haemophiliacs & AIDS" on grounds of "Public Interest" (See link below). Is this Transparency?

http://bit.ly/2t5Xcsi

The Department of Health tell us that they do not even know how many people have died  through their contaminated NHS treatment, and to contact a private organisation instead...

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/403774/response/976646/attach/2/1083997%20Evans.pdf

The problem is that this private organisation (UKHCDO) refuse to release the full information of where and how many people have died in England, Wales & Northern Ireland, and state that they are exempt from freedom of information requests...

http://bit.ly/2rN7BVc

Despite the fact it states on the UKHCDO website that they are required by the Department of Health to collect such data...

http://www.ukhcdo.org/nhd/

The once government owned "BPL" which made Factor Concentrate products was sold off to a Chinese corporation last year called "The Creat Group" (http://www.bpl.co.uk/about-bpl/news/q/date/2016/05/19/press-release-creat-group-corporation-agrees-to-acquire-bio-products-laboratory-ltd/) and so they also are now exempt from freedom of information requests. Is this Transparency?

This is a Scandal which has been described this year by former MP and Health Minister Andy Burnham as a "criminal cover-up on an industrial scale". It was described last year by the former Health Minister Lord David Owen as a "cover-up". And by the Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom just this past Friday (23/06/17) as an "Injustice".

We cannot get concrete answers to the most basic of questions, such as how many Haemophiliacs have actually died from Factor Concentrate infections, documents are being withheld on grounds of Public Interest and the truth about what happened to the Haemophilia community locked away in the vaults of Private Corporations. 

Please can you do whatever you can to raise these issues in the House and support our call for a full public inquiry?

Best Regards,

How YOU can help (From your sofa) with campaigning before the Election

Like, Share & Comment - This is #1. Liking, Sharing and Commenting on things generates more interest. The more Likes, Shares and Comment's a post has, the more people Facebook, or Twitter, will choose to show it too. Remember to do this on all relevant posts and our Facebook and Twitter Pages. Yes this includes Re-Tweeting, don't forget to "Quote Tweet" too and tag in MP's. Focuses at the moment should be the Conservative Facebook Page and Theresa May's Facebook Page. Do not go on their to insult and typecast all Tories, it's not helpful and looks weak.

Contact your Main Party MP Candidate's privately - You can find out who they are by visiting: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/politics/constituencies , once you know who your candidates are you can generally get in touch with them either by finding them on Facebook, or Google their name and find their website. In the first instance it's best to send them a private message or e-mail giving a brief overview of how you were affected (keep this to 1 - 2 paragraphs max) and then make it very clear what you would want to happen eg a Full Public Inquiry, and ask what their stance is / how they will help you. It also helps to provide a few links to recent news articles etc which will give them further background and back-up what you are telling them. Try to keep the whole thing to less than the equivalent of 1 side of A4.

Keep it on the Public Face of "MP's" and Ministers - The vast majority of MP's and Ministers have Facebook Pages and/or Twitter Profiles. Comment and Reply on THEIR posts (be consistent, this should not be a one-off) with links to news articles or make your views known. (Example Below). And like the comments of other campaigners who do the same so that they will appear higher up, hint: the comments with the most likes show first, in turn getting even more likes and exposure. Remember: MP's are there to represent constituents, but they don't HAVE to help YOU, don't treat them like the enemy, you want to talk WITH them, not rant TO them. If you rant and bash, you will generally be ignored.

The Demonstration - Make sure everyone you know who is affected is aware of, and if they are able, will attend, the following event on 21st June 2017 (Invite your Friends on Facebook) - https://www.facebook.com/events/453628281636730/

Write to the DoH - Tell them you want an Inquiry. Write to them as much as you want. Let's not let them forget we're not going away. Write to them here: https://contactus.dh.gov.uk/

If you think you think outside the box your trapped in one - Come up with your own ideas and initiatives, you need no one's permission to do this. If you have what you think is a good idea then run with it and see where it may take you. Think about what hasn't been tried yet. It's generally quicker to do something yourself than try to get others to do it for you. Send an e-mail, Pick up the phone and build a new bridge. Send a Freedom of Information Request.

The most important thing: If you can, do.