UK Blood Inquiry: Victims failed ‘not once but repeatedly’


The Infected Blood Inquiry said its victims had been failed “not once but repeatedly” by their doctors, by bodies including the NHS and others responsible for their safety, and the government.

It criticised the failure to make patient safety paramount in decision-making, pointing out the risk of viral infections being transmitted in blood and blood products had been known about since the start of the NHS in 1948.

But it said despite this people were exposed to “unacceptable risks”.

This included:

  • Not doing enough to stop importing blood products from abroad – which included blood from high-risk donors in the US where prisoners and drug addicts were paid to give blood
  • Continuing to source blood donations from high-risk populations in the UK too such as prisoners until 1986
  • Taking until the end of 1985 to heat-treat blood products to eliminate HIV despite the risks being known since 1982
  • Not introducing as much testing as could have been done to reduce the risk of hepatitis from the 1970s onwards

Reporting from Nick Triggle, Health Correspondent, BBC News at 12:30 hours

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