Old Square’s Brian Cummins, instructed by Collins Solicitors, and led by Steven Snowden QC, represents over a thousand victims and their families in the Public Inquiry, the biggest Public Inquiry the United Kingdom has ever undertaken, and described as the largest single scandal ever to hit the Health Service.
The Public Inquiry into the contaminated blood treatment disaster of the 1970’s and 1980’s, has formally began phase one, running between April and November, hearing oral evidence of individuals infected and affected around the UK, sitting in London, Belfast, Leeds, Edinburgh and Cardiff. This week is the start of two weeks in Edinburgh.
Thousands of NHS patients were infected with blood-borne viruses, including HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C, through treatment by the NHS, with Factor concentrates for the treatment of haemophilia, or in the course of a blood transfusion.
The Inquiry is to consider not only what happened and why, but other issues including: potential testing on patients as ‘Guinea pigs’ without their knowledge; alteration and loss of medical records; whether there was a medical or political cover-up; what ought to have been known by (and done by) pharmaceutical companies, clinicians, government bodies and politicians; the nature and level of medical and financial support provided for those infected and affected; and how treatment disasters of this kind might be avoided in the future.
The Inquiry has attracted considerable press coverage including:
The hearings can be viewed here:
William Meade (Senior Clerk)