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Tuesday, 30 January, 2001, 10:25 GMT
Alder Hey - the time table
Kelly and Janet Valentine
Kelly and Janet Valentine parents of Kayleigh whose organs were taken without consent
Since the Alder Hey organs scandal first hit the headlines two years ago the hospital has been rarely out of the news.

From shocking revelations about the retention and storage of organs to last week's news that thymus glands had been given to a pharmaceutical company in return for cash.

Each revelation has left parents shocked and reeling.

Now the government hope to put the whole issue to rest by the publication of their report looking into the whole debacle of Alder Hey.

Health Secretary Alan Milburn is also expected to use the opportunity to announce a change in the law surrounding consent.

Time table

September 7 1999: The first hint of what happened at Alder Hey was revealed during the Bristol Public Inquiry.

Professor Robert Anderson, president elect of the British Paediatric Cardiac Association reveals that Alder Hey has "probably the biggest and best collection" of hearts in the country.

October 6, 1999: It emerges that other organs have been stockpiled in a laboratory belonging to the University of Liverpool.

Hospital bosses blame Dutch born pathologist and cot death expert Professor Dick van Velzen.

Government order an inquiry and the Chief Medical Officer orders a national overview of organ retention.

October 14 1999: Parent support group set up in Liverpool by Joan Wheeler, who lost her baby son Karl 27 years before.

December 3 1999: Liverpool coroner Andre Rebello opens an inquest into the death of Kayleigh Valentine whose organs were taken without consent.

He calls the scandal "absolutely outrageous."

Kayleigh Valentine
Liverpool coroner called the removal of Kayleigh Valentine's organs "absolutely outrageous"

Later that day Health Minister Alan Milburn announces an independent inquiry and the parent support group Pity2 (named because they have interred their children twice) hold their second meeting.

December 21 1999: Alder Hey hospital releases its own internal report - admitting practices were "unacceptable".

February 7 2000 Independent Inquiry chaired by Michael Redfern QC starts.

March 16 200 Alder Hey admits they accidentally disposed of the organs of Stephen White just days before his parents were due to hold a second funeral.

Alan Milburn demands that trust secretary Frank Taylor resigns. He does so.

March 24 2000: Chief Executive Hilary Rowlands goes on extended leave.

August 15 2000: Parents say they are "We are battered by new disasters" as store of brain tissues discovered.

September 30 2000: Police in Canada issue a warrant for the arrest of Professor van Velzen following the discovery of child body parts in a lock-up storage garage in Nova Scotia.

And review into cardiac unit at Alder Hey shows that quality of surgeons "extremely high", but that post-operative death rate of surgeon Roger Franks for the "switch" operation is almost three times the national average.

October 30 2000: BMA issues guidelines on obtaining consent.


We are battered by new disasters

Parents of Alder Hey victims
November 28 2000: Parents learn that hospital has retained up to 400 foetuses without consent.

January 11 2001: Professor Liam Donaldson holds summit in London designed to produce guidelines to prevent another Alder Hey.

It emerges that the organs of 3,500 children were removed without parental knowledge or consent.

January 26 2001: Alder Hey admits having given thymus glands removed from live children during heart operations to pharmaceutical company in return for cash donations.

January 29 2001: Alan Milburn promises parents' consent will be required in future.

January 30 2001: Redfern inquiry report is published in the Commons.

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