Tag Archives: urges

NHS urges 1.4m staff to have flu jab to reduce risk of epidemic

NHS bosses are writing to all 1.4 million staff to say they must have the winter flu jab as soon as possible to reduce the risk of them infecting patients who might die.

Those who decline the jab will have to tell the NHS trust that employs them why, and it will have to record their reasons, as part of a bid to drive up what the NHS admits are “disappointing” staff take-up rates.

The move comes as the chairman of NHS England admitted on Thursday that health service chiefs were “more scared than we have ever been” about how bad winter could be. There is a strong likelihood of hospitals being inundated with flu sufferers, Prof Sir Malcolm Grant said.

The prospect of a flu epidemic presented a real crisis, added Grant. NHS leaders are seriously concerned that Britain could be hit by its biggest flu outbreak in years this winter. There is acute anxiety because Australia and New Zealand have been experiencing their worst flu season for many years with struggling to cope.

NHS bosses have got tough on staff’s jab uptake as part of a new series of “intensified cross-NHS winter preparations” in a bid to reduce the estimated 8,000 annual deaths from flu in England and Wales.

They are sending out letters to healthcare workers across England urging them to get vaccinated as soon as possible, to reduce the risk of them passing on the flu virus to vulnerable patients, especially older people and those with breathing problems such as asthma, pneumonia and emphysema. It is staff’s professional duty to have the jab, they say.

The letter says: “As winter approaches it is worth reminding ourselves that flu can have serious and even fatal consequences.

“Healthcare workers, as members of the general population, are susceptible to flu. When coupled with the potential for a third of flu cases being transmitted by asymptomatic individuals, it means patients are at particular risk.”

Although a record proportion of NHS staff received the jab last year – 63% – in some trusts as few as 20% of staff took up the offer of free vaccination at work.

In another previously unused tactic, NHS England bosses are writing to all 234 NHS trusts telling them to do much more to ensure staff have the jab. “We require each NHS organisation to ensure that each and every eligible member of staff is personally offered the flu vaccine, and then either signs the consent form or states if they decline to do so,” that letter says.

Grant, speaking at the national children and adult services conference in Bournemouth, said: “We face winter better prepared than we have ever been, but more scared than we have ever been.

“We have the strong likelihood of hospitals being inundated with people suffering flu.”

The NHS is expanding its £237m winter flu campaign by offering free vaccination for the first time to over 1 million people who work in care homes, at a cost of £10m, and also to the 670,000 eight- and nine-year-old pupils in school year four. Those aged two, three and four will be offered a flu vaccination in the form of a nasal spray rather than an injection, however.

In all, 21 million people in England will be offered free immunisation on the NHS. They include pregnant women and anyone over 65 and anyone deemed at clinical risk, for example due to asthma.

“This move to help keep care workers stay well during flu season is a really positive step by the NHS. Not only will it help to protect thousands of care home residents from getting sick, but it sends a strong signal about the importance of social care staff in providing an integrated health and care service,” said Imelda Redmond, the national director of the campaign group Healthwatch England.

Last winter, 133 people died as a direct result of flu after being treated in an intensive care or high-dependency unit in England, Public Health England said.

The NHS has also responded to the widespread shortage of A&E doctors by deciding to expand the number of doctors training to become specialists in emergency medicine from 300 to 400 a year for four years from next year. Currently, about 6,300 different grades of medics work in A&E units across England.

NHS urges 1.4m staff to have flu jab to reduce risk of epidemic

NHS bosses are writing to all 1.4 million staff to say they must have the winter flu jab as soon as possible to reduce the risk of them infecting patients who might die.

Those who decline the jab will have to tell the NHS trust that employs them why, and it will have to record their reasons, as part of a bid to drive up what the NHS admits are “disappointing” staff take-up rates.

The move comes as the chairman of NHS England admitted on Thursday that health service chiefs were “more scared than we have ever been” about how bad winter could be. There is a strong likelihood of hospitals being inundated with flu sufferers, Prof Sir Malcolm Grant said.

The prospect of a flu epidemic presented a real crisis, added Grant. NHS leaders are seriously concerned that Britain could be hit by its biggest flu outbreak in years this winter. There is acute anxiety because Australia and New Zealand have been experiencing their worst flu season for many years with struggling to cope.

NHS bosses have got tough on staff’s jab uptake as part of a new series of “intensified cross-NHS winter preparations” in a bid to reduce the estimated 8,000 annual deaths from flu in England and Wales.

They are sending out letters to healthcare workers across England urging them to get vaccinated as soon as possible, to reduce the risk of them passing on the flu virus to vulnerable patients, especially older people and those with breathing problems such as asthma, pneumonia and emphysema. It is staff’s professional duty to have the jab, they say.

The letter says: “As winter approaches it is worth reminding ourselves that flu can have serious and even fatal consequences.

“Healthcare workers, as members of the general population, are susceptible to flu. When coupled with the potential for a third of flu cases being transmitted by asymptomatic individuals, it means patients are at particular risk.”

Although a record proportion of NHS staff received the jab last year – 63% – in some trusts as few as 20% of staff took up the offer of free vaccination at work.

In another previously unused tactic, NHS England bosses are writing to all 234 NHS trusts telling them to do much more to ensure staff have the jab. “We require each NHS organisation to ensure that each and every eligible member of staff is personally offered the flu vaccine, and then either signs the consent form or states if they decline to do so,” that letter says.

Grant, speaking at the national children and adult services conference in Bournemouth, said: “We face winter better prepared than we have ever been, but more scared than we have ever been.

“We have the strong likelihood of hospitals being inundated with people suffering flu.”

The NHS is expanding its £237m winter flu campaign by offering free vaccination for the first time to over 1 million people who work in care homes, at a cost of £10m, and also to the 670,000 eight- and nine-year-old pupils in school year four. Those aged two, three and four will be offered a flu vaccination in the form of a nasal spray rather than an injection, however.

In all, 21 million people in England will be offered free immunisation on the NHS. They include pregnant women and anyone over 65 and anyone deemed at clinical risk, for example due to asthma.

“This move to help keep care workers stay well during flu season is a really positive step by the NHS. Not only will it help to protect thousands of care home residents from getting sick, but it sends a strong signal about the importance of social care staff in providing an integrated health and care service,” said Imelda Redmond, the national director of the campaign group Healthwatch England.

Last winter, 133 people died as a direct result of flu after being treated in an intensive care or high-dependency unit in England, Public Health England said.

The NHS has also responded to the widespread shortage of A&E doctors by deciding to expand the number of doctors training to become specialists in emergency medicine from 300 to 400 a year for four years from next year. Currently, about 6,300 different grades of medics work in A&E units across England.

Andy Burnham urges Theresa May to rescue contaminated blood inquiry

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has urged Theresa May to step in to save the troubled inquiry into contaminated blood, as he warned that victims of the scandal could lose trust in the process for good unless it is moved away from the Department of Health.

Burnham called on the prime minister to intervene after weeks of stalemate over the inquiry. Campaigners have said they will boycott the process while it is overseen by the Department of Health, which they believe to be historically implicated in the scandal.

The Labour mayor, who was instrumental in securing the Hillsborough inquiry, told the Guardian: “I’m appealing to the prime minister to salvage the process before trust gets corroded on all sides.”

Burnham was one of several senior politicians from all parties involved in getting the government to commit to an inquiry in July, after campaigners fought for 30 years for an investigation into how contaminated blood transfusions infected thousands of people with hepatitis C and HIV.

However, it quickly ran into difficulties when survivors and families of people killed by tainted blood refused to attend an initial consultative meeting held with officials from the Department of Health.

Burnham, a former health secretary, said the government could help solve the impasse by simply switching oversight to the Cabinet Office.

“There is a real issue about whether it can be led by a department with a long history when it comes to what happened with contaminated blood,” he said.

“I would say there is a simple solution which is that the Cabinet Office should take responsibility and that could help move the inquiry forward in a way that it is not moving forward right now.

“It was a major breakthrough to get the commitment to the principle of an inquiry and so I would hope the government would understand the feelings people have and listen to them and make what could be quite a small shift to capture people’s trust in the process. The worry is that if they lose the people’s trust it can never be re-established.”

The Right Rev James Jones, a former bishop of Liverpool, who chaired the Hillsborough independent panel, was asked earlier this month to help break the stalemate by hosting talks with victims, but the Department of Health is still refusing to relinquish control over the inquiry.

Diana Johnson, a Labour MP who has long campaigned for contaminated blood victims, said those affected had been told a consultation on the inquiry run by the Department of Health was being extended from August until October.

She said it was “still absolutely wrong that the Department of Health is leading on this”.

The main groups representing victims and their families lack trust in the department because they believe its officials were complicit in covering up the scandal in previous decades.

One of the campaign groups, Factor 8, responded to the delay by saying it was “once again appalled by the tactics of the Department of Health”.

Last month, Tainted Blood, The Forgotten Few, Positive Women, the Contaminated Blood Campaign and others released a statement saying: “We and our members universally reject meeting with the Department of Health as they are an implicated party. We do not believe that the DH should be allowed to direct or have any involvement into an investigation into themselves, other than giving evidence. The handling of this inquiry must be immediately transferred elsewhere.”

Responding to Burnham, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “We are determined to make sure the voices of victims and their families are heard as part of this inquiry. That is why, at the request of Bishop James Jones and some campaign groups we have extended the deadline to make sure everyone has the opportunity to input their views on the format and scope of the inquiry. No decision has yet been taken on sponsorship – we welcome any views on this and it will be considered as part of the consultation.”

Andy Burnham urges Theresa May to rescue contaminated blood inquiry

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has urged Theresa May to step in to save the troubled inquiry into contaminated blood, as he warned that victims of the scandal could lose trust in the process for good unless it is moved away from the Department of Health.

Burnham called on the prime minister to intervene after weeks of stalemate over the inquiry. Campaigners have said they will boycott the process while it is overseen by the Department of Health, which they believe to be historically implicated in the scandal.

The Labour mayor, who was instrumental in securing the Hillsborough inquiry, told the Guardian: “I’m appealing to the prime minister to salvage the process before trust gets corroded on all sides.”

Burnham was one of several senior politicians from all parties involved in getting the government to commit to an inquiry in July, after campaigners fought for 30 years for an investigation into how contaminated blood transfusions infected thousands of people with hepatitis C and HIV.

However, it quickly ran into difficulties when survivors and families of people killed by tainted blood refused to attend an initial consultative meeting held with officials from the Department of Health.

Burnham, a former health secretary, said the government could help solve the impasse by simply switching oversight to the Cabinet Office.

“There is a real issue about whether it can be led by a department with a long history when it comes to what happened with contaminated blood,” he said.

“I would say there is a simple solution which is that the Cabinet Office should take responsibility and that could help move the inquiry forward in a way that it is not moving forward right now.

“It was a major breakthrough to get the commitment to the principle of an inquiry and so I would hope the government would understand the feelings people have and listen to them and make what could be quite a small shift to capture people’s trust in the process. The worry is that if they lose the people’s trust it can never be re-established.”

The Right Rev James Jones, a former bishop of Liverpool, who chaired the Hillsborough independent panel, was asked earlier this month to help break the stalemate by hosting talks with victims, but the Department of Health is still refusing to relinquish control over the inquiry.

Diana Johnson, a Labour MP who has long campaigned for contaminated blood victims, said those affected had been told a consultation on the inquiry run by the Department of Health was being extended from August until October.

She said it was “still absolutely wrong that the Department of Health is leading on this”.

The main groups representing victims and their families lack trust in the department because they believe its officials were complicit in covering up the scandal in previous decades.

One of the campaign groups, Factor 8, responded to the delay by saying it was “once again appalled by the tactics of the Department of Health”.

Last month, Tainted Blood, The Forgotten Few, Positive Women, the Contaminated Blood Campaign and others released a statement saying: “We and our members universally reject meeting with the Department of Health as they are an implicated party. We do not believe that the DH should be allowed to direct or have any involvement into an investigation into themselves, other than giving evidence. The handling of this inquiry must be immediately transferred elsewhere.”

Responding to Burnham, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “We are determined to make sure the voices of victims and their families are heard as part of this inquiry. That is why, at the request of Bishop James Jones and some campaign groups we have extended the deadline to make sure everyone has the opportunity to input their views on the format and scope of the inquiry. No decision has yet been taken on sponsorship – we welcome any views on this and it will be considered as part of the consultation.”

Andy Burnham urges Theresa May to rescue contaminated blood inquiry

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has urged Theresa May to step in to save the troubled inquiry into contaminated blood, as he warned that victims of the scandal could lose trust in the process for good unless it is moved away from the Department of Health.

Burnham called on the prime minister to intervene after weeks of stalemate over the inquiry. Campaigners have said they will boycott the process while it is overseen by the Department of Health, which they believe to be historically implicated in the scandal.

The Labour mayor, who was instrumental in securing the Hillsborough inquiry, told the Guardian: “I’m appealing to the prime minister to salvage the process before trust gets corroded on all sides.”

Burnham was one of several senior politicians from all parties involved in getting the government to commit to an inquiry in July, after campaigners fought for 30 years for an investigation into how contaminated blood transfusions infected thousands of people with hepatitis C and HIV.

However, it quickly ran into difficulties when survivors and families of people killed by tainted blood refused to attend an initial consultative meeting held with officials from the Department of Health.

Burnham, a former health secretary, said the government could help solve the impasse by simply switching oversight to the Cabinet Office.

“There is a real issue about whether it can be led by a department with a long history when it comes to what happened with contaminated blood,” he said.

“I would say there is a simple solution which is that the Cabinet Office should take responsibility and that could help move the inquiry forward in a way that it is not moving forward right now.

“It was a major breakthrough to get the commitment to the principle of an inquiry and so I would hope the government would understand the feelings people have and listen to them and make what could be quite a small shift to capture people’s trust in the process. The worry is that if they lose the people’s trust it can never be re-established.”

The Right Rev James Jones, a former bishop of Liverpool, who chaired the Hillsborough independent panel, was asked earlier this month to help break the stalemate by hosting talks with victims, but the Department of Health is still refusing to relinquish control over the inquiry.

Diana Johnson, a Labour MP who has long campaigned for contaminated blood victims, said those affected had been told a consultation on the inquiry run by the Department of Health was being extended from August until October.

She said it was “still absolutely wrong that the Department of Health is leading on this”.

The main groups representing victims and their families lack trust in the department because they believe its officials were complicit in covering up the scandal in previous decades.

One of the campaign groups, Factor 8, responded to the delay by saying it was “once again appalled by the tactics of the Department of Health”.

Last month, Tainted Blood, The Forgotten Few, Positive Women, the Contaminated Blood Campaign and others released a statement saying: “We and our members universally reject meeting with the Department of Health as they are an implicated party. We do not believe that the DH should be allowed to direct or have any involvement into an investigation into themselves, other than giving evidence. The handling of this inquiry must be immediately transferred elsewhere.”

Responding to Burnham, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “We are determined to make sure the voices of victims and their families are heard as part of this inquiry. That is why, at the request of Bishop James Jones and some campaign groups we have extended the deadline to make sure everyone has the opportunity to input their views on the format and scope of the inquiry. No decision has yet been taken on sponsorship – we welcome any views on this and it will be considered as part of the consultation.”

Andy Burnham urges Theresa May to rescue contaminated blood inquiry

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has urged Theresa May to step in to save the troubled inquiry into contaminated blood, as he warned that victims of the scandal could lose trust in the process for good unless it is moved away from the Department of Health.

Burnham called on the prime minister to intervene after weeks of stalemate over the inquiry. Campaigners have said they will boycott the process while it is overseen by the Department of Health, which they believe to be historically implicated in the scandal.

The Labour mayor, who was instrumental in securing the Hillsborough inquiry, told the Guardian: “I’m appealing to the prime minister to salvage the process before trust gets corroded on all sides.”

Burnham was one of several senior politicians from all parties involved in getting the government to commit to an inquiry in July, after campaigners fought for 30 years for an investigation into how contaminated blood transfusions infected thousands of people with hepatitis C and HIV.

However, it quickly ran into difficulties when survivors and families of people killed by tainted blood refused to attend an initial consultative meeting held with officials from the Department of Health.

Burnham, a former health secretary, said the government could help solve the impasse by simply switching oversight to the Cabinet Office.

“There is a real issue about whether it can be led by a department with a long history when it comes to what happened with contaminated blood,” he said.

“I would say there is a simple solution which is that the Cabinet Office should take responsibility and that could help move the inquiry forward in a way that it is not moving forward right now.

“It was a major breakthrough to get the commitment to the principle of an inquiry and so I would hope the government would understand the feelings people have and listen to them and make what could be quite a small shift to capture people’s trust in the process. The worry is that if they lose the people’s trust it can never be re-established.”

The Right Rev James Jones, a former bishop of Liverpool, who chaired the Hillsborough independent panel, was asked earlier this month to help break the stalemate by hosting talks with victims, but the Department of Health is still refusing to relinquish control over the inquiry.

Diana Johnson, a Labour MP who has long campaigned for contaminated blood victims, said those affected had been told a consultation on the inquiry run by the Department of Health was being extended from August until October.

She said it was “still absolutely wrong that the Department of Health is leading on this”.

The main groups representing victims and their families lack trust in the department because they believe its officials were complicit in covering up the scandal in previous decades.

One of the campaign groups, Factor 8, responded to the delay by saying it was “once again appalled by the tactics of the Department of Health”.

Last month, Tainted Blood, The Forgotten Few, Positive Women, the Contaminated Blood Campaign and others released a statement saying: “We and our members universally reject meeting with the Department of Health as they are an implicated party. We do not believe that the DH should be allowed to direct or have any involvement into an investigation into themselves, other than giving evidence. The handling of this inquiry must be immediately transferred elsewhere.”

Responding to Burnham, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “We are determined to make sure the voices of victims and their families are heard as part of this inquiry. That is why, at the request of Bishop James Jones and some campaign groups we have extended the deadline to make sure everyone has the opportunity to input their views on the format and scope of the inquiry. No decision has yet been taken on sponsorship – we welcome any views on this and it will be considered as part of the consultation.”

Andy Burnham urges Theresa May to rescue contaminated blood inquiry

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has urged Theresa May to step in to save the troubled inquiry into contaminated blood, as he warned that victims of the scandal could lose trust in the process for good unless it is moved away from the Department of Health.

Burnham called on the prime minister to intervene after weeks of stalemate over the inquiry. Campaigners have said they will boycott the process while it is overseen by the Department of Health, which they believe to be historically implicated in the scandal.

The Labour mayor, who was instrumental in securing the Hillsborough inquiry, told the Guardian: “I’m appealing to the prime minister to salvage the process before trust gets corroded on all sides.”

Burnham was one of several senior politicians from all parties involved in getting the government to commit to an inquiry in July, after campaigners fought for 30 years for an investigation into how contaminated blood transfusions infected thousands of people with hepatitis C and HIV.

However, it quickly ran into difficulties when survivors and families of people killed by tainted blood refused to attend an initial consultative meeting held with officials from the Department of Health.

Burnham, a former health secretary, said the government could help solve the impasse by simply switching oversight to the Cabinet Office.

“There is a real issue about whether it can be led by a department with a long history when it comes to what happened with contaminated blood,” he said.

“I would say there is a simple solution which is that the Cabinet Office should take responsibility and that could help move the inquiry forward in a way that it is not moving forward right now.

“It was a major breakthrough to get the commitment to the principle of an inquiry and so I would hope the government would understand the feelings people have and listen to them and make what could be quite a small shift to capture people’s trust in the process. The worry is that if they lose the people’s trust it can never be re-established.”

The Right Rev James Jones, a former bishop of Liverpool, who chaired the Hillsborough independent panel, was asked earlier this month to help break the stalemate by hosting talks with victims, but the Department of Health is still refusing to relinquish control over the inquiry.

Diana Johnson, a Labour MP who has long campaigned for contaminated blood victims, said those affected had been told a consultation on the inquiry run by the Department of Health was being extended from August until October.

She said it was “still absolutely wrong that the Department of Health is leading on this”.

The main groups representing victims and their families lack trust in the department because they believe its officials were complicit in covering up the scandal in previous decades.

One of the campaign groups, Factor 8, responded to the delay by saying it was “once again appalled by the tactics of the Department of Health”.

Last month, Tainted Blood, The Forgotten Few, Positive Women, the Contaminated Blood Campaign and others released a statement saying: “We and our members universally reject meeting with the Department of Health as they are an implicated party. We do not believe that the DH should be allowed to direct or have any involvement into an investigation into themselves, other than giving evidence. The handling of this inquiry must be immediately transferred elsewhere.”

Responding to Burnham, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “We are determined to make sure the voices of victims and their families are heard as part of this inquiry. That is why, at the request of Bishop James Jones and some campaign groups we have extended the deadline to make sure everyone has the opportunity to input their views on the format and scope of the inquiry. No decision has yet been taken on sponsorship – we welcome any views on this and it will be considered as part of the consultation.”

Andy Burnham urges Theresa May to rescue contaminated blood inquiry

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has urged Theresa May to step in to save the troubled inquiry into contaminated blood, as he warned that victims of the scandal could lose trust in the process for good unless it is moved away from the Department of Health.

Burnham called on the prime minister to intervene after weeks of stalemate over the inquiry. Campaigners have said they will boycott the process while it is overseen by the Department of Health, which they believe to be historically implicated in the scandal.

The Labour mayor, who was instrumental in securing the Hillsborough inquiry, told the Guardian: “I’m appealing to the prime minister to salvage the process before trust gets corroded on all sides.”

Burnham was one of several senior politicians from all parties involved in getting the government to commit to an inquiry in July, after campaigners fought for 30 years for an investigation into how contaminated blood transfusions infected thousands of people with hepatitis C and HIV.

However, it quickly ran into difficulties when survivors and families of people killed by tainted blood refused to attend an initial consultative meeting held with officials from the Department of Health.

Burnham, a former health secretary, said the government could help solve the impasse by simply switching oversight to the Cabinet Office.

“There is a real issue about whether it can be led by a department with a long history when it comes to what happened with contaminated blood,” he said.

“I would say there is a simple solution which is that the Cabinet Office should take responsibility and that could help move the inquiry forward in a way that it is not moving forward right now.

“It was a major breakthrough to get the commitment to the principle of an inquiry and so I would hope the government would understand the feelings people have and listen to them and make what could be quite a small shift to capture people’s trust in the process. The worry is that if they lose the people’s trust it can never be re-established.”

The Right Rev James Jones, a former bishop of Liverpool, who chaired the Hillsborough independent panel, was asked earlier this month to help break the stalemate by hosting talks with victims, but the Department of Health is still refusing to relinquish control over the inquiry.

Diana Johnson, a Labour MP who has long campaigned for contaminated blood victims, said those affected had been told a consultation on the inquiry run by the Department of Health was being extended from August until October.

She said it was “still absolutely wrong that the Department of Health is leading on this”.

The main groups representing victims and their families lack trust in the department because they believe its officials were complicit in covering up the scandal in previous decades.

One of the campaign groups, Factor 8, responded to the delay by saying it was “once again appalled by the tactics of the Department of Health”.

Last month, Tainted Blood, The Forgotten Few, Positive Women, the Contaminated Blood Campaign and others released a statement saying: “We and our members universally reject meeting with the Department of Health as they are an implicated party. We do not believe that the DH should be allowed to direct or have any involvement into an investigation into themselves, other than giving evidence. The handling of this inquiry must be immediately transferred elsewhere.”

Responding to Burnham, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “We are determined to make sure the voices of victims and their families are heard as part of this inquiry. That is why, at the request of Bishop James Jones and some campaign groups we have extended the deadline to make sure everyone has the opportunity to input their views on the format and scope of the inquiry. No decision has yet been taken on sponsorship – we welcome any views on this and it will be considered as part of the consultation.”

Andy Burnham urges Theresa May to rescue contaminated blood inquiry

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has urged Theresa May to step in to save the troubled inquiry into contaminated blood, as he warned that victims of the scandal could lose trust in the process for good unless it is moved away from the Department of Health.

Burnham called on the prime minister to intervene after weeks of stalemate over the inquiry. Campaigners have said they will boycott the process while it is overseen by the Department of Health, which they believe to be historically implicated in the scandal.

The Labour mayor, who was instrumental in securing the Hillsborough inquiry, told the Guardian: “I’m appealing to the prime minister to salvage the process before trust gets corroded on all sides.”

Burnham was one of several senior politicians from all parties involved in getting the government to commit to an inquiry in July, after campaigners fought for 30 years for an investigation into how contaminated blood transfusions infected thousands of people with hepatitis C and HIV.

However, it quickly ran into difficulties when survivors and families of people killed by tainted blood refused to attend an initial consultative meeting held with officials from the Department of Health.

Burnham, a former health secretary, said the government could help solve the impasse by simply switching oversight to the Cabinet Office.

“There is a real issue about whether it can be led by a department with a long history when it comes to what happened with contaminated blood,” he said.

“I would say there is a simple solution which is that the Cabinet Office should take responsibility and that could help move the inquiry forward in a way that it is not moving forward right now.

“It was a major breakthrough to get the commitment to the principle of an inquiry and so I would hope the government would understand the feelings people have and listen to them and make what could be quite a small shift to capture people’s trust in the process. The worry is that if they lose the people’s trust it can never be re-established.”

The Right Rev James Jones, a former bishop of Liverpool, who chaired the Hillsborough independent panel, was asked earlier this month to help break the stalemate by hosting talks with victims, but the Department of Health is still refusing to relinquish control over the inquiry.

Diana Johnson, a Labour MP who has long campaigned for contaminated blood victims, said those affected had been told a consultation on the inquiry run by the Department of Health was being extended from August until October.

She said it was “still absolutely wrong that the Department of Health is leading on this”.

The main groups representing victims and their families lack trust in the department because they believe its officials were complicit in covering up the scandal in previous decades.

One of the campaign groups, Factor 8, responded to the delay by saying it was “once again appalled by the tactics of the Department of Health”.

Last month, Tainted Blood, The Forgotten Few, Positive Women, the Contaminated Blood Campaign and others released a statement saying: “We and our members universally reject meeting with the Department of Health as they are an implicated party. We do not believe that the DH should be allowed to direct or have any involvement into an investigation into themselves, other than giving evidence. The handling of this inquiry must be immediately transferred elsewhere.”

Responding to Burnham, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “We are determined to make sure the voices of victims and their families are heard as part of this inquiry. That is why, at the request of Bishop James Jones and some campaign groups we have extended the deadline to make sure everyone has the opportunity to input their views on the format and scope of the inquiry. No decision has yet been taken on sponsorship – we welcome any views on this and it will be considered as part of the consultation.”

Andy Burnham urges Theresa May to rescue contaminated blood inquiry

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has urged Theresa May to step in to save the troubled inquiry into contaminated blood, as he warned that victims of the scandal could lose trust in the process for good unless it is moved away from the Department of Health.

Burnham called on the prime minister to intervene after weeks of stalemate over the inquiry. Campaigners have said they will boycott the process while it is overseen by the Department of Health, which they believe to be historically implicated in the scandal.

The Labour mayor, who was instrumental in securing the Hillsborough inquiry, told the Guardian: “I’m appealing to the prime minister to salvage the process before trust gets corroded on all sides.”

Burnham was one of several senior politicians from all parties involved in getting the government to commit to an inquiry in July, after campaigners fought for 30 years for an investigation into how contaminated blood transfusions infected thousands of people with hepatitis C and HIV.

However, it quickly ran into difficulties when survivors and families of people killed by tainted blood refused to attend an initial consultative meeting held with officials from the Department of Health.

Burnham, a former health secretary, said the government could help solve the impasse by simply switching oversight to the Cabinet Office.

“There is a real issue about whether it can be led by a department with a long history when it comes to what happened with contaminated blood,” he said.

“I would say there is a simple solution which is that the Cabinet Office should take responsibility and that could help move the inquiry forward in a way that it is not moving forward right now.

“It was a major breakthrough to get the commitment to the principle of an inquiry and so I would hope the government would understand the feelings people have and listen to them and make what could be quite a small shift to capture people’s trust in the process. The worry is that if they lose the people’s trust it can never be re-established.”

The Right Rev James Jones, a former bishop of Liverpool, who chaired the Hillsborough independent panel, was asked earlier this month to help break the stalemate by hosting talks with victims, but the Department of Health is still refusing to relinquish control over the inquiry.

Diana Johnson, a Labour MP who has long campaigned for contaminated blood victims, said those affected had been told a consultation on the inquiry run by the Department of Health was being extended from August until October.

She said it was “still absolutely wrong that the Department of Health is leading on this”.

The main groups representing victims and their families lack trust in the department because they believe its officials were complicit in covering up the scandal in previous decades.

One of the campaign groups, Factor 8, responded to the delay by saying it was “once again appalled by the tactics of the Department of Health”.

Last month, Tainted Blood, The Forgotten Few, Positive Women, the Contaminated Blood Campaign and others released a statement saying: “We and our members universally reject meeting with the Department of Health as they are an implicated party. We do not believe that the DH should be allowed to direct or have any involvement into an investigation into themselves, other than giving evidence. The handling of this inquiry must be immediately transferred elsewhere.”

Responding to Burnham, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: “We are determined to make sure the voices of victims and their families are heard as part of this inquiry. That is why, at the request of Bishop James Jones and some campaign groups we have extended the deadline to make sure everyone has the opportunity to input their views on the format and scope of the inquiry. No decision has yet been taken on sponsorship – we welcome any views on this and it will be considered as part of the consultation.”