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PCC Donna Jones says prosecutions ‘are the next step’ in UK blood scandal

22 May 2024

Chair of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and Hampshire and Isle of Wight PCC Donna Jones has expressed support for the consideration of bringing prosecutions against individuals and institutions involved in the cover-up of the UK blood scandal.

The historic tragedy, which saw thousands of people infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood products in the 1970s and 1980s, has left a lasting impact on victims and their families.

PCC Donna Jones stated, “The victims of the contaminated blood scandal have endured unimaginable suffering and loss. Whilst I welcome the government’s compensation scheme announced yesterday, no amount of money will be repair the lives of those affected by this catastrophic failure.

“I fully support the consideration of prosecutions against those who played a part in the cover up and the unethical and barbaric medical treatment of patients which ultimately led to thousands of people being infected with life changing diseases.

“There is a clear role here for the General Medical Council to explore and identify those who committed malpractice and medical negligence.

“Organisations and individuals who contributed to this scandal need to be identified, and where evidence is sufficient – prosecuted.

“Accountability is essential, not only for the victims but also to restore public trust in our health and legal systems.”

The contaminated blood scandal is considered one of the worst treatment disasters in the history of the NHS, and calls for justice have been long-standing. The renewed focus on prosecuting those responsible highlights a commitment to addressing the cataclysmic tragedy in which so many institutions played a part.

PCC Jones added, “We owe it to the victims and their families that those who have acted unlawfully are held to account. This is a crucial step in delivering the justice that has been long overdue.”

The comments come following the publication of a 2,700 page report into the infected blood scandal by Sir Brian Langstaff which was released on Monday 20 May.

The report found that the infection of 30,000 people with HIV and hepatitis between 1970 and 1991 could have been avoided.

It concludes that doctors, the NHS, and governments had ‘repeatedly’ failed victims.