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The Infected Blood Inquiry report

The Infected Blood Inquiry report was released on the 21st May 2024. It was established to examine the circumstances in which men, women and children were given infected blood and infected blood products by the NHS, in particular in the 1970s and 1980s.

This is a worry for those who have medical conditions like sickle cell, and have regular blood transfusions.

Today, blood is distributed to NHS hospitals by NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), which was established in 2005 to provide a national blood and transplantation service to the NHS.

NHSBT's services follow strict guidelines and testing to protect both donors and patients, and are subject to regular inspections by independent regulators. All donors complete an extensive donor health check questionnaire before each blood donation, with potential donors considered at risk of passing on an infection being asked to defer donating until it is safe for them to do so, and all donations are then routinely tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis E, human immunodeficiency virus, syphilis and for first time donors, human T-lymphotropic virus, before they are released to hospitals.

The NHS Blood and Transplant have issued a statement "Modern safety standards are rigorous and have improved enormously since the tragic events which are the subject of the Inquiry. We follow guidelines and advice from expert committees and bodies, many of which have donor or patient representatives as members. And we are regularly inspected by independent regulators. The work of the UK blood services over many years, means the UK has one of the safest blood supply services in the world.

All blood donors are screened at every donation and their blood is tested in our laboratories before it is sent to hospitals. Blood services and blood safety has been transformed not only in terms of technological advances in testing but also in the way that we recruit and ensure that donors are safe to donate. We also work closely with partners in the UK and internationally to monitor any emerging issues."

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