Contaminated blood inquiry a ‘‘cover up’’

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Westminster candidate Tom Clarke has described the Penrose inquiry report into the contaminated blood scandal which affected one of his constituents as ‘‘wholly inadequate’’.

Thousands of Scottish people affected by blood disorders were given infected blood transfusions, contracting hepatitis C or HIV and then enduring lifelong health implications.

But last week a long awaited report issued only one recommendation, and Prime Minister David Cameron gave a public apology.

Mr Clarke said: ‘‘I am absolutely shocked that having spent £12million on a report which lasted for seven years, Penrose turns out to be a mountain which has produced a mouse.

‘‘Having discussed the matter with John Prior from Moodiesburn, who was first infected in the 1970s, I understand why people like him were shouting “cover up” at the press conference in Edinburgh.

“The reality is that this report did not focus on the dreadful experience of patients, as it should have done. From start to finish it is clearly more concerned about the doctors and clinicians who were responsible for major mistakes.

‘‘These errors impacted horrendously on people like John, whose papers have mysteriously gone missing, therefore inhibiting the pursuit of his case and his demands for justice.”

Calling the report’s recommendation ‘‘wholly inadequate’’, Tom Clarke added: ‘‘David Cameron’s commitment to £25million was described as peanuts by John and he is absolutely right.

“In fact, it is insulting to the Haemophilia Society and those who have been fighting for a decent outcome for many years.

“Why should it be otherwise when the NHS, for example, imported infected blood from American prisons?

‘‘An apology is not enough. Those who suffered from contaminated blood, administered by the NHS, on top of the health problems they already had, should be given the fullest compensation.’’