INTERNATIONAL NEWS: COI takes over on hospital scandal

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND: Alder Hey hospital, just days away from the publication of a report into a scandal over unauthorized organ removal, has cancelled an arrangement with Jonathan Street PR and handed the brief to the Central Office of Information, the government body responsible for public service communications.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND: Alder Hey hospital, just days away from the publication of a report into a scandal over unauthorized organ removal, has cancelled an arrangement with Jonathan Street PR and handed the brief to the Central Office of Information, the government body responsible for public service communications.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND: Alder Hey hospital, just days away from the publication of a report into a scandal over unauthorized organ removal, has cancelled an arrangement with Jonathan Street PR and handed the brief to the Central Office of Information, the government body responsible for public service communications.

Jonathan Street was appointed by the National Health Service Trust last August on a specific brief related to the organ removal story. Street confirmed the decision to change the arrangement had been taken last week.

The agency had reported to the acting chief executive of the trust, Tony Bell. Instead, the PR work has been taken in house, and handed to COI Communications (North West).

The COI was appointed directly by the Department of Health. A COI spokesperson said that because the report goes direct to parliament, it is best-placed to handle this issue: 'The COI Communications network has expertise, additional staff and resources, and has worked in the media for many years. For these reasons the NHS Executive in the Northwest has asked for support in the report's regional publication.'

While organs have been removed at the hospital since 1947, the report is expected to focus on the period after 1988, when pathologist Dick Van Velzen took up his post and made the removal of organs routine in certain circumstances.



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