Infected Blood Inquiry: Former Frimley Park Hospital consultant 'didn't check that patients knew the risks'

A former consultant at Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey gave evidence to the Infected Blood Inquiry on Thursday, saying she did not remember telling her patients about the risks.

Dr Janet Shirley was a Consultant Haematologist at Frimley Park Hospital between 1980-1997.

It is thought up to 30,000 people were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C from contaminated blood products from the 1970s to the 1990s.

An inquiry, into what's been described as the biggest scandal in the history of the NHS, is underway.


The Inquiry will examine:

  • Why 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

  • Questions of consent

  • Whether there was a cover-up


While Dr Janet Shirley did not speak specifically about individual patients, she said that attitudes back in the 1980s were very different to those of today and that, while now, we would tell patients of the risks, that wasn't always the practice back then.


I don't know whether they would have knowledge of it or not. I don't remember discussing with a patient that my treatment might transmit Hepatitis.

Dr Janet Shirley, Former Consultant Haematologist, Frimley Park Hospital

Melanie Richmond, was infected with Hepatitis C as a child.

She says her whole life has been blighted by the treatment she was given and she was "never" informed there was any risk.


It has destroyed my life. It has tainted me from the very first day that I was given that infusion. I became very poorly and we were told that there was nothing wrong.... we just need justice and that is making these doctors accountable for their actions and for the truth to come out.

Melanie Richmond, Infected with Hepatitis C