Helensburgh’s MSP has rallied behind the victims of the Infected Blood Scandal after a “harrowing” report was published yesterday.

MSP Jackie Baillie’s comments come after Sir Brian Langstaff released his inquiry report, which revealed “systemic, collective and individual failures to deal ethically, appropriately, and quickly”, with the risks presented by infected blood products.

Victims of the scandal – which included women who received transfusions in childbirth and those who suffer from clotting disorders - developed Hepatitis and HIV as a result.

Ms Baillie, Scottish Labour’s health spokesperson, said: “This harrowing report has underlined the scale of the scandal and how lives were put in danger across the UK.

“My thoughts and those of the entire Scottish Labour Party are with all of those who have been affected by this scandal – including those still living with the consequences today.

“That the report has concluded that authorities deliberately acted to hide the scale of the problem is absolutely shocking and those to blame must be held to account.

“The lessons of this report must be heeded to ensure that a scandal of this deadly scale must never be repeated.

“Those affected must be properly compensated and steps should be taken to ensure the culture of secrecy in the NHS is eradicated.”

Sir Brian’s report also brands the scale of the scandal as “horrifying” and notes that it was known from at least the early 1940s that the use of plasma could transmit serum Hepatitis.

Awareness of AIDS began in 1981, and it was apparent to the medical community by mid-1982 that whatever caused AIDS might be transmissible by blood.

A string of failures - including licensing regimes’ failure to ensure domestic supplies of blood and to encourage or finance research – were also identified.

Many whose families were devastated by the scandal still await compensation and the UK Government has now pledged that many will receive their first payout by the end of the year.