Island MP Bob Seely has welcomed the government’s contaminated blood inquiry, telling the Commons the probe will be a relief to affected Isle of Wight residents who will now find out the truth.
Thousands of people were given NHS blood products infected with hepatitis C and HIV in the 1970s and 1980s and around 2400 have died – prompting the decision by the Prime Minister to launch the investigation.
Speaking in a debate about the issue, Bob said: “Islanders who have been affected will be relieved that all the truth behind the scandal will come out. I suspect that some of it will make for very difficult listening indeed.
“I represent residents, as we all do, who have lived with this for decades, including people who contracted illnesses linked to contaminated blood, some of whom were infected when only nine years old.
“One resident, Janet Shepperson from Freshwater in the west of my constituency, worries not only for herself but for members of her family. She told me that her life had been turned upside down by the contaminated blood.”
Bob told MPs Mrs Shepperson now suffered from a debilitating autoimmune disease but was refused funding for the new generation, antiviral treatment for Hepatitis C by NHS England and was obliged to buy it herself earlier this year.
He added the inquiry would be critical to making progress in society, to upholding justice and to lessen suffering.
“Those inquiries are often difficult, as we have seen from Hillsborough and may well see from Grenfell Tower and others. Such inquiries ask questions of those in authority and test the system. The outcome should be justice.”
He added Islanders would want to know the answer to several questions including how will the widows and families of the 2,400 people who have already died be treated as participants, and how will their financial and other claims be handled.
He added the potential criminal elements must be investigated to their ultimate conclusion and he wanted reassurance the inquiry will be time-limited, while being as comprehensive as possible.