Manchester

The Christie: Staff member 'sold whisky for human tissue samples'

Christie Hospital in Withington
The Christie is coming under scrutiny from three government watchdogs

A member of staff at a leading cancer hospital received "bottles of whisky" and cash from the sale of human tissue samples, it has been claimed.

MP Rosie Cooper said further allegations by whistleblowers about The Christie Hospital in Manchester needed to be investigated.

The hospital said there was "no truth" in the claims and "no evidence" samples were sold to drug firms.

The Human Tissue Authority (HTA) and two health watchdogs are investigating.

'No wrongdoing'

Monitor, which scrutinises NHS trust leadership, and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will visit The Christie in the coming weeks after whistleblowers made allegations about poor leadership.

Rosie Cooper
Rosie Cooper's concerns have sparked a watchdog's investigation

Health Select Committee member Ms Cooper has written to the HTA, Monitor and the CQC to request an investigation into further allegations that a staff member "personally profited from the sale of tissue samples receiving financial payments and bottles of whisky".

She said: "It is important that no stone is left unturned in this investigation and for no allegation to be ignored.

"Establishing the facts and investigating these allegations as a matter of absolute urgency is essential on an issue that could break the trust between patients and the NHS," the Labour MP for West Lancashire said.

The HTA said it was aware of the further allegations, which were being investigated along with earlier claims samples were sold without patients' knowledge.

Director of regulation Sarah Bedwell said: "We are working closely with the CQC and Monitor to make sure that these claims are looked into fully."

A statement from The Christie said: "We have not been given any information or details about the concerns raised by Rosie Cooper MP. We take such matters extremely seriously and know that false allegations of this nature inevitably and unnecessarily cause anxiety to our patients.

"We have liaised with both the Human Tissue Authority and Health Research Authority and have reviewed our Tissue Biobank processes and procedures and we have found no evidence of any wrongdoing.

"We have been open and transparent since these concerns were first raised and we believe there is absolutely no truth in these allegations at The Christie."

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