HC Deb 25 February 2003 vol 400 cc504-5W
Mr. Havard

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department will announce the results of its inquiry into whether recipients of blood are to be prevented from donating blood tissue or organs for transplant. [95571]

Ms Blears

The Government's Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Blood and Tissues (MSBT) has considered whether all blood transfusion recipients should be excluded from donating blood and has advised that this policy would have a damaging impact on blood supplies. There are therefore no plans to introduce this measure although we will continue to keep it under review. MSBT is continuing to consider possible further measures to reduce the theoretical risk of vCJD through blood transfusion.

In October 2001, the CJD Incidents Panel recommended in its consultation paper "Management of possible exposure to CJD through medical procedures" (www.doh.gov.uk/cjd/consultation) that people who received blood from donors with vCJD should be informed of their potential exposure and advised not to give blood or donate organs and tissues and that special precautions might be needed if they require surgery. The panel recommended that no one should be given this information until proper counselling and back-up facilities were made available.

A decision on whether to implement the Incidents Panel's recommendations has not been made. The issue is currently with the four United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers to agree a common approach.