Chair welcomes waiving of legal privilege by National Health Service Blood and Transplant

Sir Brian Langstaff calls on other organisations to do likewise.

The Chair of the Infected Blood Inquiry, Sir Brian Langstaff, has welcomed the decision by the National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) to waive their rights to legal professional privilege (LPP) in relation to the Inquiry and any documents it is requesting.

LPP, which grants a protection from disclosing legal advice, could have been used by NHSBT to withhold relevant documents or papers containing legal advice.

Sir Brian Langstaff, Chair of the Inquiry said:

“I am pleased that NHSBT have agreed to waive legal professional privilege given their central role within the Inquiry. I am committed to the principle of this being the most transparent of public inquiries and NHSBT has shown its willingness to adopt transparency too.  However, other departments, agencies and bodies have a part to play too in being open fully to public scrutiny.

“I expect all government departments and public organisations to follow the lead of NHSBT the Department of Health  and the MHRA in agreeing to waive LPP as soon as possible so that the Inquiry can access potentially vital information.  I would be very disappointed if others with documents and information to provide to the Inquiry did not follow suit. If they do not they will become increasingly conspicuous.”