Wales

Contaminated blood scandal inquiry welcomed by AMs

Blood Image copyright PA

Assembly Members have welcomed the decision to launch a public inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal which left 2,400 people dead.

Julie Morgan, who chairs the Assembly's cross-party group on haemophilia and contaminated blood, said 70 Welsh people died and many were "still suffering".

Thousands of NHS patients were given infected blood products from abroad.

It has been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

The blood products were infected with hepatitis C and HIV.

The inquiry has been launched by the UK government and a spokesman for the prime minister said it would establish the causes of the "appalling injustice" that took place in the 1970s and 1980s.

Many of those affected and their families believe they were not told of the risks involved and there was a cover-up.

Inquiry is 'fantastic news'

Julie Morgan, the Labour AM for Cardiff North, said: "Seventy Welsh people have died in what has been called the 'biggest national tragedy ever in the NHS'.

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Media captionWelsh blood contamination victim's father 'wants closure'

"Two hundred and seventy three people were infected by contaminated blood in Wales, many of them are still suffering and the pain still continues for them and their families."

She added: "This is a scandal that I have been campaigning on, along with Haemophilia Wales and members of the Cross-Party Group on Contaminated Blood which I chair, since I was an MP in the late 1990s.

"The announcement of a public inquiry is fantastic news for the families affected. I hope this will finally help them get the answers they need."

Plaid Cymru's Rhun ap Iorwerth also welcomed the inquiry, saying: "It has become clear to me from talking to the families of those affected by this contaminated blood scandal that we must be given answers once and for all.

"As one of a cross-party group in the Assembly that proposed a motion calling for an inquiry, I was pleased to hear this announcement today.

"It is the pressure from the families that has counted and it has been good to be able to help to ensure that their voices are heard."

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Media captionContaminated blood inquiry: Number of Welsh survivors 'greatly diminished'

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "We welcome the prime minister's confirmation that an inquiry will be held into the contaminated blood scandal.

"It is also right that the families of those who died will be consulted about the form the inquiry will take.

"Last year, the health secretary added his support to the call for an inquiry and we are pleased that at last the UK government has recognised the strength of feeling of those affected by this scandal."

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