UCL Faculty of Laws


UCL Laws Professor supports development of Infected Blood compensation scheme

21 May 2024

The Government’s plans for infected blood compensation draw on the expert advice of a group chaired by Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery

Jonathan Montgomery

The Infected Blood tragedy is the worst and most devastating scandal in the history of the NHS. Sir Brian Langstaff’s report showed that wrongs were done at individual, collective and systemic levels and re-affirmed the recommendations set out in his second interim report about the principles on which compensation should be based. 

The Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office, Rt Hon John Glen MP, made a statement to the House of Commons on 21 May 2024 setting out the Government’s plans for comprehensive compensation. These reflect the advice of an Expert Group chaired by Sir Jonathan Montgomery, Professor of Healthcare Law at UCL, whose summary report is also published today. 

That report opens with an acknowledgement that ‘the moral case for compensation for the victims of the infected blood scandal is compelling. The impact of the wrongful infection on their lives is substantial and far-reaching. They have been let down by the NHS, in whose care they trusted. Information to which they were entitled has been withheld or lost, both by the health service and Government. They have suffered terrible stigma when they deserved support. Justice has been long delayed.’

The Group has advised on the implementation of the scheme that Sir Brian Langstaff said should be characterised by speed of provision, simplicity of process, accessibility, fairness and efficiency. Compensation will include awards for injury, social impact, autonomy, care costs and financial loss. People who were infected will be entitled to compensation that reflects (but is not limited by) the awards that a court would make. Family and carers who were not themselves infected but whose lives were impacted by the wrongful infections of others will also be entitled to awards in their own right.

The Expert Group has proposed tariffs based on severity of disease as shown by clinical markers that should be recorded in medical records. Care costs and financial loss will be based on a formula to enable rapid payments that reflect common experience for the different viruses and consequential disease, with the opportunity for cases where this would undercompensate people to be specifically assessed. These recommendations will enable the new Infected Blood Compensation Authority (IBCA) to calculate awards promptly and without disproportionate requests for complex or inaccessible evidence. 

Following engagement with the infected community by Sir Robert Francis, Interim Chair of the IBCA, the details of the scheme will be set out in regulations that must be laid before Parliament within three months of the Royal Assent to the Victims and Prisoners Bill


Infected Blood Compensation Scheme Summary

Infected Blood Inquiry Response Expert Group Summary Report

Infected Blood Inquiry Response Expert Group Terms of Reference