A long-running inquiry into how people were infected with hepatitis C and HIV from contaminated blood will not hear any more evidence.
Lord Penrose has decided he will not take any more oral evidence from witnesses, arguing such a move would "inevitably" hold up the completion of his report.
Hundreds of people in Scotland, including people with haemophilia and other patients, were given contaminated blood in the 1970s and 1980s.
Patients and relatives of those affected, as well as the Haemophilia Society, had made a submission for five expert witnesses to be called or recalled to give further evidence.
But after a procedural hearing in Edinburgh last month, Lord Penrose said he would not do this, although he said he would take further written evidence from a number of the witnesses named.
Thompsons Solicitors was involved in the campaign for the inquiry and acts for a number of those who were infected after receiving contaminated blood. Patrick McGuire, a partner at Thompsons, branded Lord Penrose's decision a "terrible body blow to the many victims, campaigners and legal representatives who are seeking answers and transparency around this devastating scandal".
Mr McGuire said: "The inquiry can't possibly fulfil its remit without giving a definitive figure in regards to numbers infected and that is what the additional oral evidence on statistics would have examined. To conclude without this detail could be viewed by some as casting doubt over the entire process."
In his written decision on the matter, Lord Penrose stated: "The final report will deal with the evidence of all of the witnesses so far as necessary to ensure that the position is fairly presented. The lines of inquiry proposed are unnecessary for that purpose. The cost, in time and resources, cannot be justified. The exercise would inevitably delay the completion of the report.
"The sole application was to reopen the oral hearings stage of the inquiry and to call or recall the specified witnesses. That application is refused. There is no justification for further oral evidence."
Lord Penrose began hearing evidence from witnesses in the inquiry in March last year and over a total of 89 days he heard from 60 witnesses. The inquiry is expected to publish its final report next year.