In the 1970s and 80s, thousands of haemophiliacs were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C through contaminated blood products imported from the US by the NHS.
The Government has always refused to set up an inquiry to look into what happened and why, but in March 2007, an independent privately-funded inquiry was set up and led by Lord Archer of Sandwell to investigate the scandal. His report was published on 23 February 2009.
Since 2007, Jenny has been helping haemophiliacs affected by the disaster in her constituency and has led the campaign in Parliament for the victims.
On 14 June 2007, she gave evidence that suggested the Department of Health's failings in the 1970s to Lord Archer's inquiry.
On 19 January 2009, through a Parliamentary question Jenny discovered that the Government has withheld 35 documents from Lord Archer's inquiry. Jenny's discovery exposed the Government to criticism and prompted the Department of Health to release 27 of them on 20 April.
Unfortunately, the Government's official response to Lord Archer's two-year inquiry on 20 May 2009 was unsatisfactory. The Government refused to set up a National Haemophilia Committee and failed to increase compensation for the 2,500 patients who still suffer from Hepatitis C infections, and the widows of those who have died from it.
On 1 July 2009, during a Westminster Hall debate on the Archer Inquiry, Jenny revealed evidence to show that the Department of Health's reasons for denying fair compensation to those victims are inaccurate and unjustified.
In the debate, the Minister agreed to Jenny's request to meet her and a small cross-party delegation of MPs, together with representatives of the Haemophilia Society and a couple of patients, to discuss how to put Archer inquiry into practice.
Jenny continues to fight for the victims and calls for the Government to accept Lord Archer's recommendations, especially:
- To provide full compensation to all victims who were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C; and
- To set up a National Haemophilia Committee in order to prevent this kind of disaster from ever happening again.