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Contaminated Blood and Blood Products Inquiry

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 10 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of the documents rediscovered by his Department in 2007 relating to the safety of blood products have (a) been and (b) not been (i) publicly released and (ii) released to the Archer inquiry to date; and if he will make a statement. (156290)

Two sets of documents related to blood safety, previously believed to be missing, were recovered in 2006:

some 4,500 documents located in storage in unregistered files. These are now held in 101 registered files.

some 600 documents returned by a firm of private solicitors who acted for claimants in HIV litigation in 1989. These are now held in 20 registered files.

These documents in 121 files are being reviewed and issued in line with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

Documents from 100 files, comprising 80 of the 101 files in category 1 and the 20 files in category 2, have been supplied to the Archer inquiry. Documents from the remaining 21 files will be issued this month, within the timetable agreed with the inquiry team.

The documents are being scanned and placed on the Department’s website for public access. So far the documents in 60 of the 101 previously unregistered files have been placed on the Department’s website. It is anticipated that documents from all 121 files will be on the Department’s website by the end of November.