We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Death in the Blood: the most shocking scandal in NHS history from the journalist who has followed the story for over two decades

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781035405244

Price: £22

ON SALE: 21st September 2023

Genre: Society & Social Sciences / Politics & Government

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

‘This book should rock Whitehall to its foundations.’ – Andy Burnham

‘This is crusading journalism at its best.’ – Lord Owen

In the 1970s and 1980s almost 5,000 people in the UK contracted HIV or hepatitis C after being infected by contaminated NHS blood products, including the notorious Factor VIII, yet no organisation or individual has ever been held to account. So far, more than 2,800 are known to have died, while tens of thousands more lives have been destroyed in the families of those affected.

Caroline Wheeler has been reporting on this scandal – the worst treatment disaster in the history of the NHS – for over two decades. She has been integral to the campaign for justice for the victims and their families, and played a pivotal role in persuading Prime Minister Theresa May to agree to the infected blood inquiry in 2019, the findings of which are expected to be published in late 2023.

Death in the Blood will be based on thousands of government documents, court and inquiry transcripts, plus interviews with prime ministers, cabinet ministers, Downing Street advisers, senior civil servants, doctors, and above all the victims and their families whose personal testimony forms the beating heart of this book.


This book should rock Whitehall to its foundations. It shows it was complicit in a criminal cover-up on an industrial scale lasting five decades. It should prompt major changes to the way Britain is run - starting with a duty of candour on all public servants.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Great Manchester
This is crusading journalism at its best. Caroline Wheeler, a rookie reporter in Birmingham, hearing that contaminated blood transfusions had given hepatitis and HIV to a haemophiliac began to campaign for justice and has continued today as Political Editor of The Sunday Times. This book chronicles the long campaign, the denials and obstruction and why the Infected Blood Inquiry will soon bring some comfort to sufferers and their families.
Lord Owen
This is the definitive analysis of the worst health scandal in British history. The terrifying lengths that the state went to to hide this outrage should chill us all. Wheeler's compassion in her approach to the horror she uncovered will stay with me forever.
Professor Lucy Easthope, author of When the Dust Settles
Caroline shines a fierce light on the darkest of episodes. This is an important account based on years of meticulous investigation. It exposes the shame of how some of the most vulnerable were failed - and reveals the long fight to give a voice to those whose pain was silenced.
Laura Kuenssberg
Caroline has been so supportive to the victims and survivors of the NHS contaminated blood scandal. She has been an integral part of our long fight for justice and enabled people like me to speak out with confidence, when there was little confidence before
Ade Goodyear, former pupil at Treloar School
A gripping narrative, strengthened by Wheeler's longstanding connection to the story
Financial Times
Moving, angering
The Times