Summary of latest information on hearings, expert groups, evidence and next year’s evidence
The three weeks hearing evidence from people infected and affected this autumn brought the total number of people who have given oral evidence to the Inquiry since April to 189. The Inquiry has also received nearly four thousand written statements.
At the close of the hearings, the Chair of the Inquiry Sir Brian Langstaff made some closing remarks where he outlined the next stages and the progress we have already made. You can watch his closing remarks or read the transcript on the website.
The next hearings are in February when we will be hearing from the Inquiry intermediaries and the expert groups who will be giving evidence on the psychological and social impacts of living with infections and current knowledge about hepatitis, HIV, haemophilia and blood and bleeding disorders. You can register your interest in attending these sessions here.
We have also nominated three new experts to assist the Inquiry. Their biographies, along with those of all the approved experts can be found on our new website page.
In his closing words, Sir Brian also spoke about the hearings when decision makers will give evidence about what happened and why. In early June, these hearings will start with clinicians and others who can shed light on the policies and practices of centres across the UK. More information on those giving evidence, dates and how to attend will be published closer to the time.
The hearings are the visible part of the Inquiry’s work but the majority of the Inquiry team are working on the investigation. Already, more than 11.5 million pages have been reviewed by the Inquiry team and around 2.5 million pages placed on the Inquiry's documents system, a figure which grows at an average of 40,000 pages per week.
All the transcripts from the October and November evidence sessions are now available to read and the videos are being uploaded after any necessary legal redactions. The written statements of witnesses who did not give oral evidence will start to be put on the Inquiry website in the new year.
Many of the experiences shared during the evidence sessions were difficult. If anyone infected or affected requires support, the Inquiry is funding a confidential support service. This is run by a team from the British Red Cross who have been working with the Inquiry since September 2018. More information is available here.