A leading public relations agency for the NHS has lost a contract for Alder Hey Hospital just ahead of publication of the findings of the inquiry into organ retention.

The contract to represent Alder Hey Hospital for the inquiry which Jonathan Street Public Relations Ltd held since August was given to COI Communications (North West) two weeks ago. The inquiry is due to report in days.

JSPR, which holds the contract for London regional office as well as a number of NHS trusts, has recently experienced high staff turnover, but shrugged off any suggestion it was in trouble.

Managing director Jonathan Street told HSJ: 'I do not want to go into the details of how and why (the contract was lost). . . every piece of work we do like this It is entirely possible that they can say thanks very much but we will do something else now. There is nothing particularly significant about it nor am I particularly unhappy about it.'

He said the loss of the contract was not symptomatic of any deeper problems within the company, which had always managed to replace lost staff with those of 'an equally high calibre'.