Healthy and well-functioning public services are fundamental to a healthy and well-functioning society.

A civilised nation such as Britain relies on such services to maintain the high standard of living that said civilisation has cultivated.

Whether that be a high quality and rigorous education system to foster a talented and bright next generation, or responsive and thorough emergency services to keep us safe – such things play an important role.

One of the most key and valued public services is the National Health Service – an essential and in many cases quite literally lifesaving institution. 

It is why I have become increasingly horrified by the unfolding revelation of the infected blood scandal.

Over 30,000 people in the UK were infected with HIV and Hepatitis C after being given infected blood products and transfusions throughout the 1970s and 1980s, one of which a constituent of mine who has campaigned for justice on the issue for 40 years.

As I said in the chamber this week when asking a question on the matter – as more unfolds it reads like the plot of a horror film.

This recent development regarding the use of young school children in trials as ‘guinea pigs’ (in the words of one of the survivors).

The trials involved children with blood clotting disorders – whose families in many cases had not consented to them taking part – being given infected blood products (many imported from the US being taken from high-risk donors such as prisoners and drug addicts).

The majority of the children who enrolled are now dead. This sickens me to my core. 

Sadly, it is not the first instance in recent times of our public services crippling to serious failure and letting down the public.

It took a television drama to truly uncover and bring the Post Office scandal to the attention of the public – something that has ruined scores of lives.

We have suffered from this locally also, with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, failing to adequately support those suffering with mental health issues in recent decades, as I highlighted in an article in March this year - although I understand the current team are working hard to right the wrongs of the past on this matter. 

These failings of public services in recent times have highlighted to me how grave it can potentially be when things go this badly wrong – I understand that of course the course of such things does not always run smoothly, and a level of natural human error must always be accounted for – but nonetheless there is no escaping these failings.

As stated in my question in Parliament, these institutions need to be held to a standard of transparency and accountability in addressing these failings – we need to see a better process for dealing with slip ups.

What is most sinister is the attempts to cover up such scandals – as was bought so evidently to light during the saga of the Post Office scandal. 

I fear that there is a perception from the general public that the Government is hand in hand with these institutions and not fervent enough in holding them to account when they are guilty of such heinousness.

It is easy to call out such behaviour after the fact and once scandal has broken, however I think we can always do more to detect said wrongdoing and it is our duty as MPs to work to blow the whistle on it.  

We must persevere to dispel this poisonous narrative and do all in our power to protect those we represent from such mistreatment.