Page last updated at 14:59 GMT, Thursday, 20 November 2008

Hospital to bury unclaimed organs

Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool
The organs will be buried in Allerton Cemetery

Parents of children whose organs were removed without consent at Liverpool's Alder Hey hospital have just over six months to claim the body parts.

If the organs, foetuses and tissue samples remain uncollected they will be buried in Liverpool next May.

The hospital will not be in direct contact with those affected to avoid causing distress to bereaved parents.

Instead, a helpline has been set up for parents who think their child's organs may have been kept by Alder Hey.

'Dignity and respect'

The hospital, which was at the centre of a scandal concerning the retention of organs, still has samples from 10,000 children - including parts from 1,000 foetuses.

The burial would be the final part of a process developed by the University of Liverpool and Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, which complies with the Human Tissue Authority Code of Practice issued in 2005.

Concerned parents have until May 2009 to make an inquiry about their child. Any unclaimed organs will be buried in Allerton Cemetery.

Dr Mark Caswell, Alder Hey's assistant medical director, said: "The university and the trust are committed to conducting the release and interment with dignity and respect."

The official Redfern Report into the organ scandal was published in 2001.

It stated Dutch pathologist Dick van Velzen ordered the stripping of organs from children who underwent a post-mortem examination during his time at the hospital, between 1988 and 1995.

He was struck off the UK medical register by the General Medical Council in 2005.

Parents who believe their child's organs or tissues may have been retained should call freephone 0800 073 2030 for more information.

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Liverpool Echo Alder Hey in organs call - 17 hrs ago
Leigh Today Body parts scandal hospital plans mass burial A Liverpool hospital at the centre of a retained body parts scandal has revealed plans for the burial of remains from 10,000 children. - 23 hrs ago
The Times Hospital will bury childrens unclaimed body parts - 36 hrs ago
Telegraph Remains of 10000 children to be laid to rest in Alder Hey Hospital scandal mass burial - 43 hrs ago
Liverpool Echo Alder Hey Hospital to give back thousands of body parts - 46 hrs ago

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