Plastic surgeons’ legal position ‘unfavourable’

NHS guidelines concerning the removal and replacement of substandard PIP breast implants will place private physicians in ‘an unfavorable legal and ethical position’.

That’s according to Professor Laurence Kirwan, Harley Street plastic surgeon and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.

A Parliamentary Health Committee meets today (Friday) to discuss the clear up of the PIP breast implant crisis and regulation of the cosmetic surgery in Britain.

Professor Kirwan has taken exception to guidelines from the Department of Health’s NHS Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh sent to GPs, NHS Medical Directors and plastic surgeons last month.

Under the heading ‘Criteria for replacement of implants at NHS expense’ the Department of Health’s letter refers to private patients offering to pay for replacements from the NHS because they have been ‘failed by their providers’.

‘We have received a number of queries from patients with PIP implants supplied by private providers where the provider has failed in its duty of care,’ says the letter which is signed by the Chief Medical Officer Professor Sally C Davies.

‘I will not endorse the statement that the private provider has failed in his duty of care because he has placed a perfectly legal implant approved by MHRA in a completely ethical and legal setting as did the NHS,’ said Professor Kirwan.

‘The fault lies with the regulatory agency and they should take full responsibility for removal as well as replacement,’ he said.

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