Contaminated blood scandal which left tens of thousands of NHS patients infected with hepatitis C is ‘a disaster bigger than Hillsborough’
The contaminated blood scandal which left tens of thousands of NHS patients infected with hepatitis C and HIV will turn out to be a disaster ‘bigger than Hillsborough’, a senior figure has claimed.
Dame Denise Platt, a board member of the General Medical Council, likened the issue to the 1989 stadium crush that claimed 96 lives and was ultimately found to be due to police negligence, after years of cover-up.
Her comments were disclosed in internal emails at the GMC, which is co-ordinating doctors’ submissions to the inquiry into the blood scandal.
Campaigners claim documents that would reveal the true scale of the medical blunders have been destroyed [File photo]
More than 2,400 people with haemophilia died after receiving a clotting agent called Factor 8, which was infected with the deadly viruses, in the 1970s and 1980s.
Many more patients are still living with the effects. Campaigners claim documents that would reveal the true scale of the medical blunders have been destroyed.
Dame Denise’s comments emerged in an email sent to colleagues by Thomas Jones, the GMC’s head of regulation policy, and obtained under Freedom of Information laws.
He wrote: ‘Council already aware of significance (Denise Platt saying this will be bigger than Hillsborough).’
Jason Evans, of campaign group Factor 8, said: ‘For decades, governments of all stripes have attempted to play down the scandal hoping it will go away. It’s clear from these documents that senior staff at the GMC do appreciate the gravity of this inquiry and the events it is examining.’
Last night, a GMC spokesman said: ‘The events at the centre of this inquiry have had a devastating impact on patients and their families, and we hope they soon receive some long-deserved answers.
‘We continue to work closely with the inquiry by providing documents and information in support of its investigations.’
The inquiry, which began in 2018, is expected to conclude late next year.
More than 2,400 people with haemophilia died after receiving a clotting agent called Factor 8, which was infected with the deadly viruses, in the 1970s and 1980s [File photo]