Are victims satisfied with the blood inquiry findings?

Might this finally bring closure...
28 May 2024

Interview with 

Andy Evans & Joan Edgington

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Blood transfusion

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What have the victims of the UK blood scandal - who have been campaigning for decades - made of the inquiry’s findings? Here’s Andy Evans…

Andy - It almost seemed that everything that we had been telling people and shouting from the rooftops for the last 30 to 40 years had been written down by this ex high court judge and signed off as part of the inquiry process. I feel vindicated for all the years that we've been pushing the injustice that has happened to us. We hope now that people will start to think that they can actually have a voice, whereas they felt they couldn't before.

Chris - And where now for you? What will you do next?

Andy - I don't know. I think there's going to be a little bit of digging into both the report, which is enormous. So we're going to have to take time to read through that. And we'll be working with Sir Robert Francis, who's heading up the infected blood compensation authority over the next few weeks to see if we can iron out any ambiguities and the levels of compensation that will really allow people to use this as a turning point in their lives and maybe start to heal from it. But what comes next? I don't know. I think I'm going to take a break for a couple of weeks now. We're going to Portugal for my mum's 70th birthday. When I come back, hopefully I'll have a bit more energy to decide what to do with everything. But people are still wanting prosecutions for people who were involved back in the day who made these decisions, particularly licensing authorities and the ministers that declared that there was no comprehensive proof that there was a link between haemophilia products and HIV when the warnings were there. So there's plenty to get our teeth into. I really hope at some point though, I'll be able to let this go and put it down and maybe think about trying to live the rest of my life for me and my family.

Andy Evans. Let’s conclude with the thoughts of Joan Edgington who told us about her hepatitis infection a little earlier on…

Joan - The first time I was in the room with thousands of people who'd been through similar experience, who validated all the issues and struggles, that in itself was worth everything to me, to then find out that the inquiry team were tackling it with full heart, total integrity, have absolute admiration for Sir Brian and the whole team. We then come to the recent publication of the report, and it's more than we could have hoped for. He has gone into such detail and has pulled no punches. And the key word that so often is repeated amongst us is validation. We were telling the truth all along.

Chris - And where does this leave you? What will you do next?

Joan - <laugh>, that is such a good question. You can tell by my voice I'm really, really tired. Immediately I will rest up. I then think I will take time to grieve. Too many people died. Too many friends died. And then if needs be, I would gladly join another campaign that's looking at holding those in power to account and getting them to use honesty, integrity, transparency, and all those wonderful words. The system has to change. Nobody should go through this kind of inquiry again, even though we had the very best team behind us, it has been a long, exhausting, and often traumatic process.

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