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Report into the Infected Blood Inquiry published.


The Chair of the Inquiry, Sir Brian Langstaff, published the Infected Blood Inquiry’s Report on Monday 20th May 2024.

Brian Cummins was part of the legal team, led by Steven Snowden KC (12KBW), and with Dr. Achas Burin (12KBW) – instructed by Collins Solicitors – representing the largest group of infected and affected individuals at the Inquiry (>1200 infected and affected core participants). 5 years of unstinting work on behalf of those core participants and provided both written and oral submissions to Sir Brian at the conclusion of the evidence and testimony of thousands of lay witnesses and expert witnesses’ testimony.

The report vindicates what infected patients and their families had been trying to draw to public attention since the 1970s and 1980s. The infections were transmitted by medical treatment involving blood (e.g. transfusion) or clinical products derived from human blood (such as those used to treat clotting diseases). The blood and blood products were contaminated by HIV, hepatitis, or both.

1,250 people with bleeding disorders died of AIDS, (380 of whom were children). Infections were “caused needlessly”, the report states.

More than 3,000 people died because of infection without seeing this report published and their experiences committed to public record. Their experiences, as well as successive governments’ responses to them, is roundly condemned by Sir Brian Langstaff, the Inquiry’s Chair. In his final report, he stated plainly: “The scale of what has happened is horrifying.”

There were “systemic, collective and individual failures to deal ethically, appropriately and quickly with the risk of infections” as well as the infections themselves. This “calamity” could have been “largely, but not entirely, avoided” and – what is more – “it should have been.” Instead, infected patients as well as their “partners, family, children, friends” have “suffer[ed] in almost every aspect of their lives.”

Approximately 26,800 people were infected with Hepatitis C following blood transfusions. The value of the Inquiry was felt even before its report was published, with over 12,000 people applying for home-testing kits for Hepatitis C (‘the silent killer’) in the week before the publication of the final report.

Sir Brian Langstaff said: “The way in which institutions, and in particular the government, responded to what had happened after 1985 was in many respects shameful. This should never happen again.”

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak declared Monday a “day of shame for the British state” as he apologised for the failures of successive governments over the infected blood scandal and promised to pay whatever it takes to compensate the victims. He said: “This is a day of shame for the British state. (Monday’s) report shows a decades-long moral failure at the heart of our national life – from the National Health Service to the civil service to ministers in successive governments at every level – that people and institutions in which we place our trust failed in the most harrowing and devastating way.”. Sunak added: “This is an apology from the state – to every single person impacted by this scandal. It did not have to be this way; it should never have been this way. And on behalf of this and every government stretching back to the 1970s, I am truly sorry.”

On Tuesday 21 May, the government announced victims of the infected blood scandal will get £210,000 as an interim compensation payment from as early as this summer (2024). Cabinet minister John Glen told parliament the initial payment will be given to people living with the effects of contaminated blood “within 90 days, starting in the summer”. The minister did not confirm the cost of the compensation package, but former justice secretary Robert Buckland said it could be upwards of £10 billion.

Click here to read the full report.

Media links:

Infected Blood Inquiry

Sky News

BBC News

The Guardian

The Times (subscription needed)

The Telegraph

The Independent

Daily Mail


Evening Standard



House of Lords Library





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Brian Cummins

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