A report into the contamination of blood supplies in Scotland during the 1970s and 1980s, which resulted in thousands of people being infected with hepatitis C and HIV, has published its findings today.

An independent inquiry, chaired by Lord Penrose, was set up by the Scottish Government to investigate what went wrong and what lessons could be learned to prevent widespread contamination of blood supplies from happening again.

The Penrose Inquiry, which has taken six years and cost almost £12million to complete, found that more could have been done to screen blood supplies and donors for serious blood borne diseases in the 1990s, but the report stopped short of apportioning any blame for the failings.

Despite the scandal happening before the Scottish government existed, the Scottish Government is currently the only administration in the UK to commission an inquiry into a scandal which affected the whole of the UK.

The inquiry made only one single recommendation: that anyone in Scotland who had a blood transfusion before 1991 should be tested for Hepatitis C if they have not already done so.

Linda Millband, National Practice Lead for clinical negligence at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “The contamination of blood supplies scandal has affected thousands of people across the UK and tragically cost hundreds of lives.

“Thousands of lives disrupted forever then six years of an enquiry costing twelve million pounds, it’s hardly any wonder that the Penrose Inquiry conclusions have angered and frustrated victims and their relatives. There were clear failings in the standards of care delivered to patients in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, yet there are few conclusions or even recommendations published in the report.

“Understanding where you stand legally, regardless of whether or not you decide to pursue a compensation claim, can be an important step in dealing with the psychological effects of a victim scandal of this magnitude. Having dealt with claims relating to blood borne diseases, we are here to support anyone who believes they may have been affected. People don’t have to worry they are committing to litigation or cost, it may be that a chat clears up concerns and we can quickly help people know where they stand legally.

“Thousands of people may be living with an infection that they don’t even know anything about, and for those patients who do know and have needlessly suffered, it is time they were provided with real answers, explanations and apologies. It is absolutely vital that lessons are taken from this scandal and that something like this never happens again here in the UK.”