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Health News

NHS given thousands of PIP referrals


More than 2,800 women who had PIP breast implants at private clinics have been referred to the NHS in England, according to government figures.

These are women whose private clinics have either refused to remove the implants, or whose clinic no longer exists.

The Government said it would provide free care to the 2,860 private patients referred to the NHS, including for scans and implant removal, but plans to recover costs from private clinics.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) warned this week some private clinics are claiming they do not have "the skills" to treat patients with ruptured PIP implants. It said too many clinics were referring patients to the NHS in what could be a "cost-containment" move, and argued surgeons should be able to deal with patients themselves.

The Department of Health figures shows 477 private patients who received implants from Harley Medical Group are being cared for on the NHS, alongside 91 private patients from Transform. A further 2,292 are so far classed as "other" private patients, although the Department of Health said these may emerge in later weeks to be Harley Medical Group or Transform patients.

Of the 2,860 referrals to the NHS, more than 1,100 scans have been completed, of which 324 were carried out this week. So far, 67 women have opted for removal, of which 12 have had surgery. Overall, 522 women have had some sort of NHS care to date, according to the data from 115 NHS trusts.

BAAPS president Fazel Fatah said: "These figures show a significant proportion of patients have not had the help and reassurance they need, and deserve, from private clinics." Health minister Anne Milton said: "Most patients who have been forced to get help from the NHS as their private clinic has refused to support them seem, so far, to be choosing not to have their implants removed."