Today the Government is publishing the study by Sir Robert Francis QC, which was commissioned by my predecessor as Paymaster General, the Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP.
The study makes recommendations for a framework for compensation and redress for the victims of infected blood, which can be ready to implement upon the conclusion of the Infected Blood Inquiry, should the Inquiry’s findings and recommendations require it.
Sir Robert’s study is comprehensive and detailed, and reflects the contributions of many individuals directly affected by infected blood, their recognised legal representatives, and campaign groups representing the infected and affected communities, many of whom participated in a series of meetings held by the study from July 2021 to February 2022. Sir Robert makes clear the importance of these contributions by introducing his study with a collection of moving, heartbreaking and sometimes shocking quotations from some of those who spoke to him. It is right that their views and experiences should be at the heart of his work, and I would like once again to thank all those who contributed to the study and shared their experiences with Sir Robert. I do not underestimate how difficult this must have been for many, and I am grateful for their courage.
Sir Robert will give evidence about his work to the Infected Blood Inquiry on 11th and 12th July. Before then, it is important that the Inquiry, and recognised legal representatives of its infected and affected core participants, have an opportunity to consider his work; it is most important that the government is able to reflect upon Sir Robert’s evidence to the Inquiry in considering his study.
There is a great deal of complexity to the issues that the study covers and a wide range of factors to be taken into account in considering Sir Robert’s recommendations. This analysis cannot be completed hurriedly but officials across government are focussing on this so that the government can be ready to respond quickly to the Inquiry’s recommendations, as was intended when the study was commissioned. I will update the House as this work progresses.
I would like, once again, to thank Sir Robert and his team for their work and the timely delivery of the study.
I have asked that a copy of the Study be deposited in the libraries of both Houses in Parliament.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords