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Sam Rowlands says infected blood scandal is the ‘most grotesque miscarriage of justice in British history’

SAM ROWLANDS, Member of the Welsh Parliament for North Wales, has called for compensation to be paid in the quickest timescale possible to those affected by the infected blood tragedy.

Mr Rowlands, Shadow Health Minister was speaking in the Senedd during the debate on the infected blood inquiry.

He said: “The infected blood scandal is one of the most grotesque miscarriages of justice in British history. Each of the victims had their entire lives turned upside down, destroyed or even lost in such agonising circumstances, and it’s entirely right now that the priorities of Governments, both here and in Westminster, are ensuring that compensation gets to those victims and the families of those victims as well.

“But we also need to ensure that lessons are learnt from this as well. It must be a priority that we never allow cover-ups and, essentially, corruption of this kind to happen again in our institutions, and in particular our largest public institutions that are there to protect and serve the people that we represent.

“I would like to share a couple of stories from residents in terms of some of their awful experiences. One in North Wales, who was a recipient of the Welsh infected blood support scheme, shared his story with me of being infected as a child with hepatitis B and HIV and hepatitis C, spending months in intensive care. He described the lifelong impact on him, his wife and parents as ‘long gnawing at our spirits’.

“Another constituent was infected with hepatitis C through treatments for Von Willebrand disease, and her mother also infected, and both had to undergo liver transplants, clearly a very, very serious procedure that has long-term impacts for them and their family.

“I’m pleased that, on 24 May, as part of the pre-election wash-up process, the Victims and Prisoners Bill was granted, by Royal Assent, creating the infected blood compensation authority, which will be responsible for making these final payments to victims.”

He added that he hoped the compensation would get through to people who rightfully deserve it in the quickest timescale possible.