We are today able to formally confirm the first appointments to the expert groups who will be providing advice to the Inquiry in a transparent and open way.
Experts from a range of fields will help the Inquiry to examine how men, women and children in the UK were given infected blood and/or infected blood products; the impact on their families; how the authorities (including government) responded; the nature of any support provided following infection; and questions of consent.
The Inquiry is the first to use expert groups to examine specialist, or difficult issues, rather than have them sit as panellists or assessors. The groups will cover the fields of: haematology, transfusion medicine, hepatology, virology, medical ethics, public health and administration, psychosocial impact, and statistics. In order to get to the truth of what has happened in a transparent manner, the expert groups’ reports will be public and disagreements will be tested in public hearings.
The first task of each group is to review the List of issues document published on December 20th, which will inform the priorities for each area of work. The full membership of each group can be found in the following document. The criteria that was used to select and appoint the experts can be found in the Statements of approach: expert groups document here.
This is the first round of appointments and additional experts will be appointed in due course.
Chair of the Inquiry, Sir Brian Langstaff said:
“I am delighted that we are able formally to confirm the appointment of a number of the Inquiry’s experts. They are influential in their fields and will provide formidable expertise to the Inquiry in our pursuit of the truth.
“I want this Inquiry to be open and transparent. The reports of the expert groups will, as with all evidence, be fully open, accessible and transparent. Where there are significant disagreements among the experts, these will be tested, explored and challenged openly in the public hearings so everyone can see and hear the differing views the Inquiry has received and can understand the arguments which may justify them”