AFTER decades of campaigning, the decision to hold a public inquiry
into what has been dubbed the biggest treatment disaster in the history
of the NHS was welcomed by the victims who were infected with HIV and
hepatitis C through contaminated blood.
Last week it was a very different story as the publication of the
final report was met with anger and accusations of a "whitewash".
The chair of the inquiry Lord Penrose, apportioned no blame for the
tragedy and did not conclude that the infection of nearly 3,000 people
in Scotland with HIV and hepatitis C from blood transfusions and
products used to treat bleeding disorders could have been prevented.
But what the final report of the inquiry - which runs to five volumes
- does document is a series of shocking revelations about the events
which led to the disaster. The scale of the suffering is also laid bare
with the harrowing stories detailed in the report - such as a mother who
unwittingly infected her young son with HIV believing she was giving
him the best treatment for haemophilia.