Contaminated blood scandal: Inquiry chief calls on NHS bosses to improve mental health support for victims

Factor VII blood products, Sir Brian Langstaff. Picture: Factor VIII / Infected Blood Inquiry

Factor VII blood products, Sir Brian Langstaff. Picture: Factor VIII / Infected Blood Inquiry - Credit: Archant

NHS bosses in England and Scotland must improve psychological support for those given hepatitis or HIV through contaminated blood and their loved ones, the Infected Blood Inquiry’s chair has said.

Speaking at the conclusion of a week of hearings where the ongoing inquiry has heard from medical experts about the impact of the scandal - which saw thousands given blood products contaminated with killer viruses - Sir Brian Langstaff called for more to be done.

In November when the previous hearings finished Sir Brian said it had been a "repeated theme" that there was an "often unanswered call for help and psychological support from those facing what is seen a as clear death sentence".

On Friday February 28 he reiterated this, saying: "There's no doubt that what we have heard this week has underlined that message, written it in bold and set it out with the starkest of clarity.

"The need for support and treatment by professionals with understanding of infected blood and blood products has not gone away now there's greater success in the treatment of underlying conditions."

He said the inquiry had heard health bosses in Wales and Ireland had begun to recognise this, but added: "I would hope and indeed expect to see England and Scotland follow suit."

The Inquiry will quiz NHS decision-makers this summer.

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