The Contaminated Blood (Support for Infected and Bereaved Persons) Bill, currently going through Parliament, was drafted and introduced in the House of Lords by the President of the Haemophilia Society, the RT Hon Lord Morris of Manchester. If the Bill proceeds into law, its provisions will:
- Establish a haemophilia advisory committee to advise on the condition in the United Kingdom.
- Implement a system to ensure haemophiliacs who have received blood from the NHS are offered testing for a range of conditions including hepatitis B and C, and HIV. Blood donors will also be regularly tested.
- Introduce a financial compensation scheme for individuals who have been affected after receiving contaminated blood under the NHS in such a way that they have contracted certain conditions (including hepatitis B and C, and HIV). Primary carers or widows and other dependents of such individuals will also have the right to apply for compensation.
- provide, free of charge, certain treatments (such as home nursing and counselling) to those who have been treated with and infected by contaminated blood.
The Bill came about following the Archer Inquiry: an investigation presided over by Lord Archer of Sandwell QC and held in relation to the transfusion of contaminated blood by which over 4,500 people suffering from haemophilia were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C. It should be noted that should the Bill become law it will only apply to England and Wales.
The Bill can be accessed here.