It appears that certain newspapers are making wild guesses as to what the Government might announce following release of the report. An article with the headline "£3.5bn pay-out for patients given killer blood" is particularly worrying because it might lead people to believe that a decision has been made with regard to compensation when, in reality, the figure is based on a 'suggestion' by certain campaigners as to what a realistic settlement might be.
We are reminding ourselves that although the Government have promised to make an interim response to the Penrose Report this almost certainly will not include an announcement regarding compensation. Going by past experiences, it could easily be a year or two before any progress is made in awarding compensation IF AT ALL. Lord Penrose can only make recommendations. How the Government respond to those recommendations is entirely optional. Remember the Archer recommendations? Were they fulfilled? NO!
We don't wish to put a damper on anyone's excitement, but this is the reality. CBC are sincerely hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst and we hope you will all do the same.
We already have plans for continuation of the campaign once parliament reassembles. The campaign has gathered momentum in the last year or two and we are not going to let that momentum slip. Our ongoing legal action will continue and that in itself will show Government that we mean business. We will not stop campaigning because of an interim Government statement full of promises, no matter how genuine it might sound. In fact, we intend to up the anti with more demonstrations and more media involvement if we don't see urgent action soon after parliament reassembles. We will call upon everyone to keep up the pressure by writing to MPs. If your MP is not very supportive don't worry, simply ask him/her to pass on letters to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health. Your MP is under obligation to do that for you and the Minister is obligated to reply.