CONTAMINATED BLOOD AND BLOOD PRODUCTS
Mr Geoffrey Robinson
That this House recalls that the catastrophic problems of infected blood supplied by the NHS date back to the 1970s and 1980s, infecting 4,670 patients and causing what Lord Winston described as the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS; notes that successive administrations only very partially responded to this catastrophe by setting up and funding The MacFarlane Trust, The Skipton Fund and The Eileen Trust; regrets the past refusal to accept the principal recommendation of the Independent Public Inquiry into the supply of contaminated NHS blood to haemophilia patients, chaired by Lord Archer and established and financed by private initiative and funds, relating to compensation for the victims and set out in paragraph 6(h) of chapter 12 of the Archer Report; further notes that earlier this year the reasons for rejecting this recommendation were challenged successfully in the High Court, which quashed the decision; believes that this ruling constitutes an appropriate moment for the present Government, which bears no responsibility for the inadequate and misjudged policies of successive previous administrations, to extend an apology to the surviving 2,700 sufferers, their families and the bereaved; and calls on the Government to alleviate their intense hardship and suffering by accepting and implementing the recommendations of the Archer Report despite the intense financial pressure on the public purse at this time.
Debate to continue for up to 3 hours and to be followed by:
Natascha Engel, on behalf of the Backbench Business Committee
That this House has considered the matter of Anti-Slavery Day.
The Committee chose the issue of Contaminated Blood and Blood Products for debate on 14 October because of the urgency of this subject, which has not previously been debated on the floor of the House, and the significant public interest in and cross-party support for a debate. The subject was suggested to the Committee by Owen Smith MP and Mr Geoffrey Robinson MP. The Committee also received a number of written requests for a debate from other MPs passing on correspondence from constituents.
A debate on human trafficking was suggested to the Committee by Fiona Mactaggart MP, in the light of the UK’s first Anti-slavery Day on 18 October 2010.
(Backbench days allocated to date: 4.5; days remaining to be allocated: 30.5).