To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the closure of the mortuary facilities at Craigavon Area Hospital. 
From 23 December 2002 all post-mortem work was relocated from Craigavon Area Hospital to Belfast on a temporary basis. This arrangement is necessary to enable the existing mortuary facilities to be upgraded in compliance with current standards and to achieve accreditation by Clinical Pathology Accreditation (UK) Ltd. The upgrade will also provide improved facilities for use by both staff and visitors. It is anticipated that the work will be completed by October 2003. In the interim period the mortuary continues to provide a storage facility for bodies not requiring postmortem but awaiting collection by the family's funeral director.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether any (a) organs, (b) blocks and (c) slides (i) are being and (ii) have been retained in the last five years at Craigavon Area hospital. 
Craigavon Area Hospitals Group Trust has retained organs or parts of organs following hospital post-mortem examinations within the last five years. At present there are parts of organs from three adult post-mortem examinations. These were previously declared to the Human Organs Inquiry in 2001. The Trust has confirmed that no organs have been retained since 2001 without the specific consent of the next of kin. They further advise that tissue blocks and slides have been retained from hospital post-mortem examinations within the last five years. Those prepared prior to 2001 have been returned to the next of kin on request. Those prepared since 2001 were returned, prior to the burial of the deceased, if this was requested in the hospital postmortem consent form.