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During the 1970s and 1980s thousands of UK patients contracted HIV, hepatitis viruses, or both, from contaminated blood or blood products.

All blood donated in the UK is now screened for HIV and different forms of hepatitis as well as diseases such as syphilis. According to Public Health England (now the UK Health Security Agency), the blood services began “routinely screening donations for hepatitis B in 1972, screening for HIV in 1985 and screening for hepatitis C in 1991”.

Following pressure from campaign groups and Parliamentarians, the then Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced a public inquiry on 11 July 2017 to examine the circumstances that led to individuals being given contaminated blood and blood products in the UK in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Infected Blood Inquiry is chaired by Sir Brian Langstaff, a former High Court judge, and terms of reference for the inquiry were announced in summer 2018. Hearings followed shortly afterwards.  The Inquiry finished taking evidence in February 2023 and a final report is being prepared, with an expected publication date of ‘autumn’ 2023.

This debate pack provides further information on the development of a compensation framework for those infected and affected by contaminated blood and blood products in the UK.

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