North East has the most NHS patients with the controversial PIP breast implant

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A NORTH East hospital group has fitted more of the controversial PIP breast implants than any other NHS trust in the country.

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed its surgeons implanted a total of 638 of the potentially faulty products, into 412 women.

Operations were carried out between 2001 and 2007, when they were discontinued amid growing concern over the quality of the French-made implants.

A spokeswoman for the trust, which runs hospitals in Durham, Darlington and Bishop Auckland, said: “Although there is no clear evidence to suggest the PIP gel implants are unsafe, or there is any health risk associated with the implants, we understand that some patients may be worried or have concerns.

“Therefore, we wrote to them again last week to update them on the most recent Department of Health guidance, and informing them of how we will be managing patients locally.

“We have also set up an advice line for those who are worried, or would like to find out what kind of implants they do have.”

It has received 200 calls since last week. The number to call is 0800 783 5774.