20 May 2024

NHS Infected Blood scandal: how ‘horrifying’ tragedy happened

Health and Social Care Editor

“Whatever the cost we will pay it”: The words of the Prime Minister on what he described as a “day of shame.”

The scandal had already been called the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.

Today we learned it could largely have been avoided.

The inquiry chair, Sir Brian Langstaff, pointed to the sheer scale of the tragedy, calling it “horrifying”.

At least 30,000 people​ were infected with Hepatitis C over the 1970s and 1980s. And 1,300 were infected with HIV, including 380 children. More than 3,000 people are estimated to have died from infections attributed to blood or blood products, many of them haemophiliacs, given tainted blood as part of their treatment.