20 May 2024

The Infected Blood Inquiry

The Inquiry Blood Inquiry was set up in 2017 to examine why men, women and children in the UK were given infected blood and/or infected blood products. The Inquiry was chaired by Sir Brian Langstaff.

On Monday 20 May the Inquiry published its report

Commenting on the publication of the Infected Blood Inquiry report, Dr Bernie Croal, President of The Royal College of Pathologists said:

‘Sir Brian Langstaff has published a detailed and thorough report which clearly and transparently lays out the decisions and events which led to the tragic deaths of so many patients. There are many survivors and their families who are still living with the terrible consequences of those decisions. We hope this report will provide some of the answers that they have been seeking for far too long.

Many findings in the report about the clinical and medical practice at the time are shocking. As a College we work to uphold the highest professional standards across pathology services. We will be considering the findings of the report very closely to identify areas where we can work towards further improvements in the care and treatment of patients.

Patients and the public should have confidence that the practice of blood transfusions and the administration of blood products has changed radically since the time covered by the report. Involving patients in their care and treatment and informed consent is central to the work of clinicians today.

It is important that patients who need a blood transfusion - which can be lifesaving - are reassured that significant initiatives and measures have been taken by blood services and hospitals to reduce the risk of transmitting infections through blood transfusion.’

Further information 

  • Extensive donor checks are made before each donation and the additional testing of all blood donations for blood-borne infections ensure that the risk of transmitting infections through blood transfusion is extremely low.
  • Fellows of The Royal College of Pathologists provide expert support to organisations concerned with blood safety including SaBTO and SHOT and NHS Blood and Transplant.
  • The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) advises UK ministers and health departments on the most appropriate ways to ensure the safety of blood, cells, tissues and organs for transfusion and transplantation.
  • Serious Hazards of Transfusion (SHOT) is a UK-wide organisation, established in 1995, to collect and analyse anonymised information on adverse events and reactions in blood transfusion from all healthcare organisations that are involved in the transfusion of blood and blood components.
  • The College is a key affiliate of SHOT, which is the independent UK haemovigilance organisation. SHOT publishes an annual report which identifies any risks and problems and makes recommendations to improve patient safety helping to drastically reduce and manage any serious