HUNDREDS of Wearside women fitted with controversial PIP implants are being given the chance to clear up any confusion over the health scare.
As well as offering a free replacement service, Spire Washington, a private hospital in Rickleton, is hosting a number of patient information events.
The events will take place this weekend and next and will give patients the chance to meet with consultant plastic surgeon, Joe O’Donoghue and discuss their options.
Around 450 women patients at Spire Washington Hospital were given the PIP breast implants, which have been at the centre of widespread media coverage since the French Government told women they should have them removed.
The British Government has announced that patients who had their surgery on the NHS will be able to have the implants removed and replaced free of charge.
On Wednesday, the Echo revealed how Pennywell mum-of-four Sharon Adams, 38, was among those who will have their ruptured implants replaced for free at Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Although many private clinics are charging women thousands to have their implants replaced, Spire Washington Hospital is contacting its patients and inviting them to an informational meeting either this Sunday, Saturday, January 21 or Sunday, January 22.
The meetings will give patients an opportunity to discuss concerns and ask questions with Mr O’Donoghue and representatives from the hospital.
However, if patients don’t want to attend in a group setting they are welcome to see Mr O’Donoghue for a one-to-one consultation.
He says: “We have a duty of care to our patients - their safety and wellbeing comes first.
“Women have been made to feel anxious about their implants, and we want to make sure that every individual patient is given the support they need to restore their confidence and peace of mind.
“We are therefore offering every patient treated at a Spire hospital a free consultation with a specialist consultant surgeon and a screening scan.
“If, following clinical advice, the patient chooses to have their implants removed and replaced, Spire will arrange this free of charge.
“Additionally, women who choose not to have their implants removed will also be offered a follow-up scan in two years’ time, or earlier should they have any concerns.”
Around 40,000 women in the UK had breast implants manufactured by the now-closed French company Poly Implant Prostheses.
Spire is calling for the re-introduction of a national implant register as it feels this issue has highlighted the need to have robust data available to improve patients’ confidence in both the NHS and private sector.
Spire Washington Hospital Director, Silvie Adams said: “Spire Healthcare’s foremost priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our patients.
“Current MHRA guidance is that there is no evidence of toxicity or adverse health effects arising from the filler in the PIP implants. However, we take our responsibility to our patients extremely seriously and have become increasingly concerned by the level of anxiety they will be facing.
“We believe all private providers should step up and deliver on their duty of care to patients. Every woman in the UK who has PIP implants should be given the right to discuss having them removed if they wish.”