I raised the case of my constituents the Smiths during an urgent parliamentary question on the inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal today.
During the 1970s and 1980s over 4,500 people with bleeding disorders were infected with a range of blood-borne viruses including Hepatitis C and HIV via their treatment with contaminated blood products. 2,400 have people died as a result of receiving contaminated blood. Among those infected was seven-year old Colin Smith from Newport, who died of Aids in 1990 after being treated with contaminated blood products.
My intervention followed the urgent question from Diana Johnson MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood, who helped secure a reversal of the Government’s decision not to award legal assistance to families implicated in the inquiry.
I said “May I reiterate to the Minister that these families, including the Smith family from Newport, have been through so much? That is why it is so important that we are sensitive to getting this process absolutely right.”
You can read a transcript of the urgent question and responses in full here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2018-03-29/debates/46949AF3-7A0A-48E7-B948-5F8FAB7A5813/ContaminatedBlood
The Guardian also published a recent story on the contaminated blood scandal, including an interview with the Smith family, which you can read here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/mar/03/contaminated-blood-scandal-thousands-haemophiliacs-died-simon-hattenstone