THE judge who has presided over a major public inquiry in Scotland is seriously ill and will be unable to attend the long awaited launch of his report next week.


Lord Penrose, who has chaired the long-running public inquiry into the way patients were infected through treatment with contaminated blood products, is said to be in hospital and receiving medical care.

His family are not releasing any more details about his illness at this stage.

The publication of the report is due to go ahead as planned in Edinburgh on Wednesday March 25 with his statement and recommendations being read, on his behalf, by Maria McCann who has been secretary to the inquiry since its inception.

Another recent public inquiry into deaths from clostridium difficile at the Vale of Leven Hospital in West Dunbartonshire was delayed on a number of occasions in part because the chairman Lord MacLean fell ill. In the report he published at the end of last year he noted the irony that he had contracted an infection after undergoing a routine operation and expressed thanks to the support he had received from his inquiry team.

The Penrose inquiry was set up to examine how hundreds of haemophiliacs and other patients were infected with HIV and hepatitis C through "bad blood" products during the 1970s and 1980s.