Mr Justice Langstaff will lead the public inquiry into how contaminated blood transfusions infected thousands of people with HIV and hepatitis C in the 1970s and 80s.

This update follows our previous blog regarding the contaminated blood inquiry.

The Government has now announced that the statutory public inquiry will be led by Mr Justice Langstaff.

Following his retirement from the High Court, Langstaff J will chair the inquiry full time from 1 May 2018. Langstaff J will be consulting on the terms of reference for the inquiry with those affected, their families and other stakeholders, before final terms are confirmed to the House of Commons.

Following his appointment, Langstaff J has said that "nothing less than a thorough examination of the evidence will suffice: and the process needs to lead to a full report within the shortest timescales that such thoroughness can accommodate."

In separate but connected news, a private individual has launched a claim against the Secretary of State concerning the discretionary support provided to NHS patients infected by contaminated blood. The claim has been brought under the Equality Act 2010 and the Human Rights Act 1998, on the basis that the discretionary support arrangements discriminate against patients with Hepatitis C.

A number of NHS blood contamination cases are expected to reach trial in the coming months, including parallel civil proceedings involving hundreds of claimants.