Almost 750 women are to have faulty breast implants removed on the NHS, figures show.

Around 47,000 British women are believed to have been given the implants manufactured by French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP).

They were filled with non-medical grade silicone intended for use in mattresses and have been linked to rupture and swelling in the body.

The latest data from the Department of Health shows that 490 women who had operations with private doctors have decided to have their implants removed, with 244 of these having already had the surgery.

Another 257 women who had the implants put in by the NHS have also decided to have them removed, with 93 operations already taking place.

Just over 7,000 patients who received the implants privately have been referred to the NHS.

In January, the Government announced that anxious women given PIP breast implants on the NHS would be able to have them removed for free, with private firms expected to offer the same deal.

However, it said any woman refused help by a private company would be able to visit their GP and access NHS care.