Tomorrow (18th Oct) will see the close of the Government consultation regarding the Inquiry into the Contaminated Blood Scandal...
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.
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.
As of today, ▪️NO Inquiry has been established. ▪️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). 🙄
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.