Friday, August 17, 2007

Scottish Executive Health Secretary pledges inquiry into contaminated blood products

As the culture of injustice in Scotland beings to be broken down, ever so slowly, our new Health Secretary & SNP Deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon, made a personal pledge there would be a public inquiry into how people were infected with Hepatitis C through contaminated blood products used on the NHS.

I have covered this issue before here : Blood infections Inquiry to be held as Executive challenged to clean up the injustices of the past

If you would like to learn more about the tainted blood products scandal campaign, please visit their website here :

You can also find out more details and the petition calling for Westminster to hold a public inquiry into the matter here :

Many eyes will be on how the SNP led Executive handle this inquiry .. for instance, who will be appointed ? What powers will it be given ? How unrestricted a remit will it really have ? Will the victims finally get justice for the incredible injustice which was done to them ?

The traditional culture of inquiry in Scotland has been to fudge the issues, not blame anyone in particular, avoid the mention of negligence , and rely on secrecy to let those off the hook who were guilty of omission, dereliction of duty, negligence, or even criminal cover up - which may well be the case here, given the quantities of documentary evidence & records destroyed ...

Will the SNP break with that culture of the past fiddles where those who were guilty were protected ? or will the victims of this terrible scandal be given the inquiry they and Scotland truly deserves ? I hope so. It's about time something was done for the people who have suffered in this scandal and hats off to Ms Sturgeon for taking this step. Now it's time for action, accountability, transparency & honesty for the victims of the tainted blood products scandal.

My very best regards to all of those, particularly the long suffering victims, who campaigned for this inquiry and best wishes for a successful outcome.

Pay attention to this please Cabinet Secretary of Justice Mr Kenny MacAskill - there are victims of injustice in the justice system who deserve a similar inquiry pledge - from YOU.

Following report from the Herald newspaper :

Campaigners hail blood products inquiry pledge

WILLIAM TINNING August 17 2007

Campaigners yesterday welcomed a personal pledge from Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon of a public inquiry into how people were infected with hepatitis C through contaminated blood products.

The SNP deputy leader made her pledge yesterday after meeting campaigners at the Scottish Executive's offices in Glasgow.

The inquiry was a manifesto commitment of the Scottish National Party. It was announced shortly after the SNP took office that the new executive would hold a Scottish inquiry.

Ministers will await the outcome of the Archer inquiry in England and Wales into Hepatitis C and HIV infections from NHS blood supplies, before deciding on the scope and remit of the Scottish investigation.

Following yesterday's meeting Philip Dolan, chairman of the Scottish Haemophilia Group, who has been part of an eight-year campaign for a Scottish inquiry, said: "The speed and recognition of the need for this inquiry is a matter for which Nicola Sturgeon should be congratulated.

"We look forward to working with her in helping with the remit."

Gary Kelly, 43, from Glasgow, beat leukaemia as a young man only to find out later that he had been given contaminated blood during a bone marrow transplant operation in 1986 which condemned him to live with HIV for the rest of his life. Mr Kelly, is recovering from his fourth heart attack which he blamed on anti-viral drugs he has been forced to take since being contaminated.

He said: "Hopefully sufferers like myself will at last learn how we became infected and why the government at Westminster ignored warnings from groups, including the World Health Organisation and the United Nations, about the potential dangers of importing infected blood products."

Frank Maguire, of Thompsons solicitors, which represents hundreds of the victims and their families, said many had died during the campaign for an inquiry.

However, he added: "The survivors and the relatives of those who have died have remained committed to forcing a public inquiry. At last they have the real prospect of finding out the truth.

"For them it's not about compensation. It's about knowing why it happened, what could have been done to prevent it, and what lessons have been learned to prevent it happening again."

Hundreds of people in Scotland, including haemophilia sufferers and other patients, were given contaminated blood in the 1970s and 1980s. However, the previous administration resisted calls from victims and their families for a public inquiry.

The executive yesterday said a public inquiry in Scotland to find out why people were infected with hepatitis through NHS treatment was "the best way forward".


Mary said...

Bravo Peter for covering the story and good luck to all those poor people who had their lives shafted by the NHS, their lawyers, and New Labour on this one.

There should be people in jail over this scandal.

Anonymous said...

Frank Maguire, of Thompsons solicitors, which represents hundreds of the victims and their families, said many had died during the campaign for an inquiry.

yes frank and many lawyers have got fat wallets during the campaign for an inquiry and from the dead victims

will someone please think of the victims for a change

Al said...

"Pay attention to this please Cabinet Secretary of Justice Mr Kenny MacAskill - there are victims of injustice in the justice system who deserve a similar inquiry pledge - from YOU."

And so say all of us...

Still waiting Kenny boy ... let's start to clean up the sins of the past and give the many victims of injustice in YOUR JUSTICE SYSTEM the right to have their voices properly heard and cases finally exposed.

After all...

YOU are privy, are you not, to quite a few cases of injustice by now and MUST surely realise that's IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME before the TRUTH in these cases will out.

Probably best, therefore, to set up a similar inquiry for the MANY VICTIMS of injustice in YOUR JUSTICE SYSTEM over the years.

I look forward to your response and positive actions.



Peter Cherbi said...

#Mary @ 7.21pm

Yes, I agree with you from what I've read on the scale of the cover up on the infected blood products issue ....I hope if the inquiry and the victims do uncover criminality, that there are prosecutions on this.


Spot on again Al. There will never be a better time to pursue an inquiry into the injustices of the justice system too, and given Ms Sturgeon's lead, Mr MacAskill should follow.

somewhereovertherainbow said...

Another inquiry ! That's all we need from the indispensible SNP.Is this their attempt to wait out the remaining victims with a 1,2 or 5 year long inquiry costing the taxpayer a princely sum just to continue the bandwagon of injustice ?

Don't be too fooled by the SNP everyone, I'm sure there are a few competing motives for Sturgeon's "pledge" - which isn't even a promise it's just a "pledge" and "pledges" are made to be broken just like "promises" when it comes to politics.

Brian said...

So this is home of the king of green ink.I see you have many admirers all covered in green ink too I imagine
Maybe you could prescribe some of those tainted blood products for yourself and your anti lawyer brigade friends so we can all have some peace

Brian said...

you disappoint me Mr Cherbi Why has my comment not appeared ?
Should I write it in green ink instead ?

Anonymous said...

If you dont trust the SNP vote them out,but Labour and the LibDems already proved they didn't give a damn about the victims of this and the Conservatives would be no better.

Give the SNP a chance on this one and make sure your voice is heard if you have something to say.

Donald Anderson, Edinburgh said...

Brian - You must be a sick minded man to come out with that.

Don't you have some clients to go rip off instead of pestering victims of lawyers ?

Anonymous said...

Easy to see from the life of Brian why people have an anti lawyer attitude these days.

One day the lawyers club at the Law Society will realise that maybe ?

Peter Cherbi said...

#somewhereovertherainbow @5.29am

I'm sure Kenny MacAskill will do the right thing and follow his party colleague's moves in respect of the tainted blood products investigation.It is the right thing to do, of course.

#Brian @ 7.51pm

I think you are letting your hatred cloud your argument.

You seem to have something against victims being able to speak out on their experiences of injustice ?

Free speech is for all, not only the legal profession. If you don't like the bad publicity of injustice, don't cause it in the first place.

Al said...

Donald Anderson, Edinburgh said...

"Brian - You must be a sick minded man to come out with that."

Yes, "Brian", you are one VERY sick individual and clearly have no empathy for the victims and their families to spew out such bile. Insensitive and offensive in the extreme.

Perhaps you are just a wee bit “green” yourself that Peter has so many “admirers” and friends who respect the man for having the courage to challenge your lawyer colleagues who have often ruined people's lives without being held to proper account by your masters, the incestuous and criminal parcel o' rogues, at The Star Chamber in Drumsheugh Gardens.

See a shrink for your green obsession Brian ... "so WE can all have some peace" from twisted and VERY sick lawyers like you.