Sunday 19 August 2018 02:49:45 AM

Ritchie Welcomes Contaminated Bloods Inquiry
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Letter to the Editor.

Dear Editor,

re Contaminated Bloods Inquiry. 

I am heartened to learn that the independent inquiry into the Contaminated Bloods Inquiry will begin evidence sessions in September this year – some 14months after the inquiry was initially launched.  It was announced yesterday (Monday 2nd June) in a House of Commons Statement by the Cabinet Office Minister that the terms of reference had been agreed with the Chair, the Government and the Devolved Administrations.

This was one of the biggest scandals of the National Health Service in the 1970’s and 1980’s when many people were infected with contaminated blood products.   Some of these people lived in Northern Ireland and sadly many have died.   In this context it is important that this inquiry brings closure for many victims and their families; that it shines a light on what and why it happened; what actions will be recommended for government action and implementation to ensure that such a scandal never happens again; that the government provides a fulsome apologies and accepts responsibility for what happened (if that is found to be the case), and that compensation is provided to all those affected and their families.

I am also pleased that the inquiry will investigate any potential cover ups.   It is important that this does happen as this inquiry must bring final closure for all victims and their families.
 
I would urge all those victims and their families in Northern Ireland to participate in the evidence sessions.   This inquiry covers Northern Ireland and Britain.   I look forward to the outcomes and a final resolution for all the victims and their families.

Yours sincerely,

Margaret Ritchie

(Former MP for South Down).