Fresh NHS hope for women with implants

Women with faulty breast implants have been told they can turn to the NHS if the private firm which provided them attaches “unacceptable conditions” to their removal.

As many as 4,000 women in Scotland may have been given breast implants manufactured by the now-closed French company Poly Implant Prothèse, which could be toxic if ruptured.

Campaign group PIP Implants Scotland said private clinics had been “making patients sign gagging orders and waive their legal rights” in return for removal.

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Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said “unacceptable” conditions would be considered as a refusal to treat the women, and that they could then turn to the NHS.

The group’s lawyer, Patrick McGuire, of Thompsons Solicitors, said this was “a major step forward” for patients. He said clinics might try to impose unacceptable conditions, to pass the bill to the NHS, but this would be “morally unacceptable”.

He said: “The women have all of the rights and remedies open to any other consumer goods, that’s scans, removal, replacement and compensation.”