The Infected Blood Inquiry, a long-awaited investigation into the UK’s contaminated blood scandal, has finally delivered its verdict. This scandal, where thousands were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through contaminated blood products, resulted in over 3,000 deaths and countless lives shattered.

Sir Brian Langstaff, chair of the inquiry into the scandal, presented a report accusing doctors, the government, and the NHS of cover-ups and negligence that put victims at unacceptable risks. The report revealed a lack of transparency and elements of “downright deception,”  including destroying documents.

Following the report, Real Research, an online survey app, conducted a survey to gather public understanding and response to the inquiry’s report. The survey found that many (64%) were already aware of the UK’s contaminated blood scandal.

Key Findings:

  • 66% of respondents agreed with the inquiry’s report that the contaminated blood scandal wasn’t an accident.
  • 37% felt the £10 billion package wasn’t enough to make up for the lost lives and suffering.
  • Despite signs of progress, over 40% of respondents worried those affected might never receive justice.

Was it an Accident?

Between 1970 and the early 1990s, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) provided blood-clotting treatments to patients with hemophilia and other blood disorders. However, these ‘treatments’ were contaminated with HIV and hepatitis C, infecting nearly 30,000 people, 3,000 of whom died, with many more suffering from long-term health consequences.

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Figure 1: The UK’s contaminated blood scandal is not accidental, as opined by the majority of respondents.

This incident is known as the “contaminated blood scandal” and “the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS.” According to Sir Brian, “This disaster was not an accident,” – a sentiment shared by 66% of respondents.

Compensation: A Step Towards Closure?

After the public inquiry’s report into the UK’s infected blood scandal was released, the British government announced a £10 billion compensation package for victims and their families. Final compensation ranges will be defined for interim payments of £210,000.

While 63% viewed the compensation for victims of infected blood scandal as sufficient, 37% remained unconvinced.

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Figure 2: Is the British government’s £10 billion compensation package sufficient for the victims?

This aligns with the sentiment expressed by the British online newspaper The Independent, which noted that money remains “the only currency in which recognition of fault can be paid,”  but ultimately any financial compensation will be “far too little, far too late.”

Indeed, for 66% of respondents, financial compensation, while necessary, can never fully replace the lives lost and affected.

Can Sunak Deliver His Promises?

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons that he was “truly sorry” for the “decades-long moral failure.” He promised “comprehensive compensation to those affected and those infected by the scandal…whatever it costs to deliver this scheme, we will pay it.”

Over 61% believed Sunak’s commitment, while 38.14% remained skeptical.

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied?

John Glen, the Cabinet Office minister overseeing the scandal, has not dismissed the possibility of pursuing criminal charges against those implicated. However, there are still concerns that “it is likely that too many will go unpunished.”

Still, it offers a glimmer of hope for some, with  92.98% expressing confidence at varying levels in the government’s ability to address accountability concerns.

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Figure 3: Do you believe victims of the contaminated blood scandal will ever receive justice?

But despite the progress made, the road to true closure for victims of the contaminated blood scandal remains long. While 58% believe justice will eventually prevail, 42% fear it may never be served.

Methodology

Survey TitleSurvey on the UK’s Contaminated Blood Scandal
DurationJune 9 – June 19, 2024
Number of Participants5,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.