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10 May 2024

What is the Infected Blood Inquiry?


The Infected Blood Inquiry was announced by the UK Government in July 2017 and started taking evidence in April 2019. It is one of the largest UK Public Inquiries conducted to date and has primarily focused on the transmission of Hepatitis B, HIV and Hepatitis C through blood components and plasma products during the 1970s, 80s and early 90s.

The Inquiry concluded its evidence phase in 2023, with its findings to be published on 20 May 2024 on the Infected Blood Inquiry website. 

SNBTS has supported the Inquiry though provision of documentation, written statements and submissions and fully accept that there are things that could have been done better in the past.

Transfusion transmitted infections have had tragic consequences for those people infected and affected and for these shortfalls we have accepted moral responsibility and offered sincere apologies. 

Responding to the past, building a safer future

Over the past 40 to 50 years, significant advancements have been made in donor screening and donation testing protocols.

Thorough risk management ensures modern safety standards are upheld through detailed donor health checks and testing minimising the transmission risks of infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and Syphilis. 

All blood donations have been screened for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C since September 1991. Screening started in 1972 for Hepatitis B, in 1985 for HIV, and in 1991 for Hepatitis C. Although the risk of infection from blood donations prior to September 1991 was low, please speak to your General Practice (GP) if you received a transfusion before this date and haven't been tested or have concerns. 

Engagement and continuous improvenment

The provision of the safest possible blood supply is our primary concern, and we will study the recommendations made by the Inquiry very carefully to ensure that lessons from that period have been learned. 

By implementing the latest scientific advances and our continual collaboration with expert bodies and regulatory authorities, SNBTS strives to safeguard the wellbeing of both donors and recipients. 

This approach to safety ensures measures are in place to significantly reduce and mitigate any risk, establishing trust and confidence in the safety of the blood supply chain across Scotland. 

Current blood stock levels across Scotland Friday 24 May

We aim to retain 6 days of stocks at any time in order to meet the requirements of patients in Scotland.

Learn more about blood types