You may already be aware that Sir Robert Francis QC has been appointed by the Cabinet Office to undertake an independent study to look at options for a framework for compensation for the victims of the infected blood tragedy.
The purpose of this study is to advise on the parameters and principles of a potential framework for a scheme of compensation to be paid to the victims of infected blood. It is anticipated that the Inquiry’s findings and recommendations may point towards such a scheme when it reports.
The study is a separate piece of work from the ongoing Infected Blood Inquiry, which is an independent public statutory Inquiry. The findings of the study will be made public and available to the Inquiry before its report is published.
The purpose of doing this work now is to ensure that there is no unnecessary delay in implementing any potential recommendations by the Inquiry in relation to compensation or levels of financial support.
Sir Robert Francis QC has launched a consultation on the terms of reference for his independent study, to consider the suggested scope for the study from people directly infected, and others with an interest.
To help inform consultation on the study’s terms of reference, the following points cover the current suggested scope of the study:
- To consider the rationale for such compensation.
- Give independent advice to the Government regarding the design of a workable and fair framework for compensation for individuals infected and affected.
- To consider the scope of such compensation, and whether it should be extended beyond infected individuals and their partners, to include for example affected parents and children, either because of the impact of caring responsibilities or the effects of bereavement.
- To consider the measures for compensation, looking at other national schemes (for example, the compensation tribunal established in the Republic of Ireland).
- To consider the relationship between a compensation framework and the current financial support schemes.
- To consider options for administering the scheme.
- Submit to the Government its report and recommendations as quickly as possible and no later than the end of February 2022, to provide the Government with advice on potential options for compensation framework design.
Sir Robert is keen to receive comments on this suggested scope for the study from people directly infected, and others with an interest. He is particularly interested in the following areas so responses should be framed along these lines:
- Do these points capture all the things the study should consider?
- Do they cover the right areas?
- Are there issues missing from this list which Sir Robert should look at?
The consultation will conclude on 26 July 2021. Sir Robert will consider responses to the consultation before submitting his proposals to the Paymaster General for decision. The terms of reference will be published shortly afterwards.
Written comments and submissions should be sent to Sir Robert by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to:
Infected Blood Compensation Study
You may wish to respond to this consultation to ensure the interests of English Infected Blood Support Scheme beneficiaries are reflected in the terms of reference and future considerations of the study.