Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hospital Apology over Stored Tissue Scandal

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Hospital Apology over Stored Tissue Scandal

Article excerpt

Byline: Kathryn Riddell Reporter

HOSPITAL bosses have apologised to families whose loved ones' organs were stored for years after their deaths.

Northumbria Police and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust say they are now working together to investigate why human tissue samples were held at South Tyneside District Hospital.

We revealed how a total of 26 families have been contacted by Northumbria Police, while Cleveland Police is dealing with another 13 families.

The body parts were discovering in an audit at South Tyneside District Hospital in South Shields in 2015.

Both forces have now admitted the samples were kept "longer than necessary".

As the NHS investigation was launched, the chief executive of the Trust offered his apologies to the families.

Ken Bremner, chief executive of South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, said: "I want to express my sincere apologies to all the families involved for the distress and anxiety that this will, undoubtedly, have caused.

"We are currently in the process of reviewing the circumstances around the storage of these samples. A review of this nature, covering a time period that goes back over a number of years, will, unfortunately, take some time to conclude, however, I would like to assure the relatives that we will do all we can to complete our inquiries as soon as possible.

"Throughout this process, we will be working closely with Northumbria Police, Cleveland Police, the relevant Coroner's Office and the Human Tissue Authority and we will support all efforts to respond to concerns arising from these difficult circumstances."

Sarah Simpson, whose dad Terry died in a fall from a roof in Newcastle 22 years ago, said she was "appalled" to be told his organs had been removed.

But despite meeting with Northumbria Police, she says the force is remaining tight-lipped over why it happened.

The force said that human tissue samples are often retained as part of the investigation involving any unexplained death. …

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