Thursday, 2 February 2012

Instructions for private PIP implant ladies who cannot afford £3-5k replacement

The NHS trust of St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital in Merseyside has published an announcement that they are offering top up payment from £1k for private PIP implant ladies to receive replacement at time of NHS removal! Click St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital announcement on PIP. (Update 18/2/2012: Have your GP email directly to Appointments being arranged within 2 weeks! The email will go to the plastics dept who are accepting PIP victims all the way from Brighton! Special PIP clinics are being held on weekends to cover PIP victims. The waiting list is 6-8 weeks from time of appointment to time of operation. The top up fee is £1000 for replacement with one Nagor and £1500 to replace both with Nagor implants at time of NHS explantation either at NHS Whistons or NHS St Helens hospitals.)

'However, if a patient has had PIP breast implants performed by a private hospital/clinic, the NHS will only fund the costs of removing the PIP implants. These patients can opt to have new implants inserted at the same time which will cost from £1000 at this Trust. We can offer you the expertise and skills to advise you and allow you to have your surgery in this renowned NHS organisation. At Whiston and St Helens hospitals we specialise in various types of breast surgery, involving breast implants and perform more operations than any other Trust in the North West. All surgery is carried out by our expert team of clinicians who specialise in plastic surgery. Our facilities are state of the art with the most up to date technology in ultra clean operating theatres. The Trust provides British made silicone implants which are manufactured using medical grade silicone only.

If you decide to have your PIP breast implants removed and wish to consider having them replaced with an alternative implant, or need advice from one of our skilled Consultant Plastic Surgeons, please contact Whiston Hospital on 0151 430 1992.'

Whiston and St Helens Hospitals underwent a £338 million rebuild which was completed and opened to patients in April 2010. It has become a beacon of gold standard NHS care. In a climate of national suffering of 40,000 PIP lady victims (95% private), Whiston and St Helens NHS Hospitals in Merseyside have come to the rescue with a mutual solution!

Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies made it clear in the latest Department of Health PIP guidance dated 27 January, that NHS trusts could offer top up fees for private services in a NHS trust, annex D. Click Department of Health PIP guidance.  This paved the way for the most forward-thinking and compassionate trusts to offer an at-cost top up fee for replacement of the PIP implant at time of NHS removal for private PIP ladies to save these ladies agonising over how they were to raise £3-5k to self pay for a separate operation for replacement. Removal without replacement on the NHS is not an option as many feel they would be left with results akin to a mastectomy which would adversely affect their self confidence and well being.

So how do you access this if you live outside of Merseyside? Ask your GP to refer you to St Helens or to Whiston Hospital breast implant clinic under the NHS choose and book service or email the updated address above. GPs and Primary Care Trusts are not affected as patients are then treated by a different PCT, ie a different budget.

'Most patients now have the right to choose which hospital provider they are referred to by their GP. This legal right, which was introduced in April 2009, lets patients choose from any hospital provider in England offering a suitable treatment that meets NHS standards and costs.'

No longer do PIP victims have to weep because they cannot raise £3k for rupture replacement or £5k for non rupture replacement or try to keep sane by taking antidepressants. Now St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital NHS Trust has stepped up and implemented a top up arrangement for private PIP victims. May all NHS trusts offer similar top up fees for their PIP lady victims. Remove and replace! Be safe! No longer do ladies have to take prozac and sedatives to keep their anxiety and depression at bay because they cannot afford self pay replacement. Thank goodness for reason and humanity. Thank you St Helens and Whiston Hospitals and it is no surprise that the Chief Executive of Whiston Hospital is a lady Ann Marr! Hats off to you!