Swann To 'Carefully Consider' New Infected Blood Inquiry Report

Health Minister Robin Swann has committed to "careful consideration" of the newly published final report of the Infected Blood Inquiry.

The Inquiry was established by the UK government to examine the circumstances in which people treated by the national health service were given contaminated blood.

The Health Minister attended the publication of the report in London, having been invited to join some of those from NI who have been impacted.

Minister Swann said: "Today has been both humbling and emotional. First and most importantly, I want to acknowledge the suffering and loss that people from Northern Ireland have experienced as a result of receiving contaminated blood.

"I believe it is right that I reiterate my Department's apology again today. The infected and/or affected were failed by the system that should have been there to help them and for that I am deeply sorry.

"While I welcome the publication of the final report from the Infected Blood Inquiry, I also recognise that this is a poignant day for so many.
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"It is with deep regret that we cannot undo the actions of the past, however it is incumbent on us in government and across the health service to ensure that this never happens again.

"My Department will ensure the report is given the careful consideration it deserves and will be engaging with counterparts on a four nations basis, as well as across NI Executive departments. A full response to the Inquiry's recommendations will be provided as soon as is practicable.

"Throughout my time in this office, I have met with those impacted many times and have heard from them directly on the devastating impact the use of contaminated blood has had on their lives. I therefore want to make clear today, that we will continue to seek their input as we move through the next stage of this process."

Concluding, Minister Swann paid tribute to the infected and/or affected community: "I want to acknowledge the bravery, determination, and dignity those affected by this terrible tragedy have shown over the years. This was especially evident over the course of the Inquiry, and I remain grateful to those who contributed. Recalling their experiences will have understandably been very traumatic.

"I am also grateful to Sir Brian Langstaff KC and his team for their thorough work in producing this comprehensive report."

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