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Infected Blood Inquiry: Interim Recommendations

Volume 737: debated on Thursday 7 September 2023

11. What recent steps he has taken to implement the interim recommendations of the infected blood inquiry. (906255)

It was a privilege to appear before the infected blood inquiry on 25 July. You, Madam Deputy Speaker, referred to birthdays earlier and I believe that that was the birthday of the right hon. Lady, but she shared it with us in the inquiry—she was there in person for the hearings. At the inquiry, I shared the work the Government are undertaking to consider the interim recommendations and I look forward to receiving the final report in the autumn.

It was good to see the Paymaster General, the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House and the Chancellor at those reconvened hearings. Sir Brian Langstaff made it very clear that his interim report on compensation was the last word that he was going to make on compensation. The Government have also accepted the moral case for compensation. What progress has now been made on Sir Brian’s recommendation on extending the interim payments to those who were not included in the first tranche of interim payments last year?

As the right hon. Lady knows, we are working through this. There is more work to be done. It is a mammoth undertaking, as she knows, and we are looking forward to the final report and putting our response into that context.

“Working through this” is not good enough. Several families in my constituency have lost partners or parents as a result of the infected blood scandal and they are frustrated by the delay and obfuscation. One of my constituents told me:

“The lack of transparency is causing great stress and anxiety to those of us at the heart of this NHS treatment disaster who have already waited decades for our loss and suffering to be recognised.”

One person is dying every four days. This is becoming urgent. Will the Government commit to a full compensation scheme as quickly as possible?

We commit to responding as soon as we can to the final report. The hon. Gentleman is right that we have accepted the moral case for compensation. After the final report comes through, we will be bringing out our response as swiftly as we can.