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 Friday, 24 January, 2003, 20:08 GMT
'Bright future' for organ scandal hospital
Alder Hey Hospital
Alder Hey was at the centre of an organ scandal
A new 2.7m pathology unit has opened at a Liverpool hospital which was at the centre of the children's organ retention scandal.

As well as traditional pathology the new unit at the Alder Hey Children's Hospital will carry out tissue analysis on existing child patients to help doctors treat their conditions.

Parents have played a role in the design of the bereavement suites while two new pathologists have also been appointed.

The Royal Liverpool Children's NHS Trust now hopes the new unit will signal a better future for the hospital.

We recognized that for a long time our services and facilities were inadequate and that we had to take some serious action

Mark Caswell, Royal Liverpool Children's NHS Trust
It has admitted its pathology provision was "inadequate" in the past.

Mark Caswell, director of the trust's clinical support services care group, said on Friday: "The opening of the unit is a very important and significant development for the trust.

"We recognized that for a long time our services and facilities were inadequate and that we had to take some serious action."

Consultant paediatric pathologist Dr George Kokai said: "This building is an expression of the support our department and the profession have been receiving locally in the most recent years and signifies a brighter future."

'Unforgivable' pain

Doctors at Alder Hey were found to have secretly taken organs from dead children.

Many bereaved families were forced to hold second and third funerals after stockpiles of organs were discovered in 1999.

A badly under funded and understaffed pathology department was later criticised as a major cause of the organ retention.

The Redfern Report into the scandal, published in January 2001, also described as "unforgivable" the pain caused to the parents by "this dreadful sequence of events".

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  The BBC's Clare Smith
"It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the ceremony"

Click here to go to Liverpool
See also:

25 Nov 02 | England
06 Nov 02 | England
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