UK government apologises for contaminated blood scandal

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 26 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1673
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

An inquiry into why thousands of people in Scotland contracted hepatitis C and HIV in the 1970s and ’80s from NHS blood and blood products has concluded that there were “few aspects in which matters could, or should, have been handled differently.”1

The inquiry, headed by a former High Court judge, Lord Penrose, made only a single recommendation—that everyone who had a blood transfusion before September 1991 who has not yet been tested for hepatitis C should be offered a test. When the findings were read out, shouts of “whitewash” were heard from relatives of those affected.

The inquiry concluded that 478 people acquired the hepatitis C virus from blood product therapy in Scotland and that 2500 acquired the virus from blood transfusion in Scotland from 1970 to 1991. Sixty patients acquired HIV from therapy with blood products and 18 from blood transfusion in Scotland. The …

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