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Thousands more women fitted with faulty PIP implants

Around 7,000 more women in the UK could have been fitted with faulty PIP breast implants, it is claimed.

French authorities previously advised only those PIP implants used after 2001 were made with the unathorised silicone gel - developed to fill mattresses among other uses.

However, following an investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), French authorities have been forced to concede PIP implants made before 2001 could also be cause for concern.

The investigation has taken the toll of UK women affected by the scandal up to 47,000.

The independent expert group - led by the NHS Medical Director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh - maintains there is not enough evidence to recommend routine removal of PiP breast implants.

The NHS in England will fund the removal of PIP implants where a clinical need is shown or following the refusal of treatment by a private provider, but will only offer a replacement if the original operation was carried out by the NHS.

The government has urged health professionals to offer the same level of care to all women, whether they had their implants before or after 2001.

“The French regulator has confirmed this week that more women may be affected by the criminal activity of the French breast implant manufacturer PiP,” said Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.

“These women are the victims of a fraudulent company and I know this situation is causing a huge amount of anxiety.

“We are still working to get private clinics to live up to their responsibilities and look after their patients. Our commitment is to ensure support for all women from the NHS if needed; we will continue to press for the same standard of care or redress from private providers.”

Question: Is the NHS doing enough to help women affected by the PIP implant scandal?