HL Deb 04 February 2003 vol 644 c23WA
Lord Morris of Manchester

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When the Chief Medical Officer's report on clinical negligence claims will be published; why it has taken so long to produce; and whether it will provide a fair resolution of the claims of haemophilia patients infected with hepatitis and HIV through contaminated National Health Service blood products. [HL1133]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath)

The issues considered by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, were very complex. There was a need for extensive consultation and review of the relevant published literature and reports. The review focused on clinical negligence. At present, compensation or other financial help to patients is only given when the NHS has been at fault. Ministers do not believe that an exception should be made to that general rule in the case of people with haemophilia infected with hepatitis C. The CMO is working up a comprehensive report for the Government outlining options for reforming the present system for handling clinical negligence claims, which aims to make the system fairer for all those who suffer injury through negligent National Health Service treatment. These proposals are under consideration by Ministers.