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  1. ITV Report

Breast implant register launched to aid patient safety

The new register is expected to record more than 20,000 cases of implant surgery a year Credit: PA

A register for breast implant patients has been set up so that people can be traced if the products they receive turn out to have safety concerns.

The new Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry will record the details of every person who has breast implant surgery, either on the NHS or privately.

Patients will need to give their consent for their details to be held on the register.

The move follows a global scandal that erupted in 2010 when Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) silicone breast implants were found, according to a UK government report, to be made from an unauthorised silicone filler and ruptured at twice the rate of other implants.

The boss of the French company that distributed the faulty implants was sentenced to four years in jail for fraud.

Almost 50,000 women in the UK and 400,000 worldwide discovered they had received faulty silicone gel implants.

But the lack of a register meant many women in the UK were unable to find out if they had received the PIP implants.

The new register, which will be managed by NHS Digital, is expected to record more than 20,000 cases of implant surgery every year.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "We want the NHS to be the safest healthcare system in the world and anyone who chooses to have a cosmetic procedure has the right to safe care.

"The PIP breast implant scandal in 2010 affected thousands of people which is why we asked NHS Digital to develop a new register which will allow people to be traced swiftly if that is ever needed."

A joint statement from the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, the Association of Breast Surgery and the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, said the organisations had "long championed the need for a compulsory register for breast implants".

Over time, other sorts of cosmetic implants - such as for buttocks - are expected to be added to the register.