Sir Robert Francis has been appointed by the Government following the Infected Blood Inquiry’s final report.

Today the Government has appointed Sir Robert Francis KC as the interim chair of the Infected Blood Compensation Authority (IBCA). The IBCA will  deliver the new compensation scheme for infected and affected individuals. The IBCA has already been set up as a shadow independent arm’s length body as part of a number of steps towards acting on the recommendations on compensation in the Infected Blood Inquiry’s 2nd Interim report.

Minister for the Cabinet Office, John Glen, announced the appointment in Parliament today as he set out the Government’s compensation framework scheme. This followed the publication of the Infected Blood Inquiry’s final report and the Prime Minister’s apology on behalf of the Government yesterday (Monday 20 May). 

The appointment comes after Sir Robert produced a Compensation Framework Study in June 2022, which sets out recommendations for a framework for compensation for individuals infected and affected by contaminated blood across the UK.

Over the coming weeks, Sir Robert will now seek views from the Infected Blood Community on the compensation scheme before its terms are set out in regulations. The aim of this is to help Government ensure that the scheme is fit for purpose and will best serve those it is intended for.

The final regulations of the compensation scheme must be laid within three months of Royal Assent of the Victims and Prisoners Bill, which is currently in Parliament. As a result, the engagement will complete within the coming weeks. 

Sir Robert will also have access to the Expert Group, including Sir Jonathan Montgomery, who advised the Government on its compensation framework plans. 

Sir Robert Francis said:

I am humbled to be asked to chair the IBCA on an interim basis. Having witnessed the depth of victims’ suffering as I compiled my report on the compensation framework, I know the urgency of providing them with the remedies they are entitled to as soon as is practicable. 

I will ensure that the shadow Authority obtains the community’s views urgently and I will update on plans for doing so shortly. The Government’s proposals for the scheme are positive and meaningful  and I look forward to discussing them with the community through a validation exercise which the Minister and I have agreed will take place.

We must ensure that the scheme is designed to determine and pay entitlements to compensation without compounding people’s suffering further. Through a compassionate, transparent and fair process, and aligning as closely as possible to the recommendations of Sir Brian in the second interim report.


Published 21 May 2024