NHS Digital calls for more data to be added to breast implant registry

Patients undergoing breast implant surgery are being urged to speak to their surgeon and ensure their details are recorded on a registry designed to safeguard their health.

NHS Digital launched the Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry (BCIR) in October 2016, to record the details of patients who have implant procedures, allowing them to be traced if they are affected by safety concerns.

The registry records the details of anyone who has breast implant surgery and the type of implant they have, providing that patients have given their consent for their information to be added, in addition to the usual consent for the surgical procedure. Details of implant procedures, including those carried out by NHS organisations and independent healthcare providers, are held in the registry.

As at the end of January 2018, 231 providers had submitted data – 38 per cent of submissions were from NHS providers and 62 per cent were from the independent sector.

However, 39 per cent of NHS providers and 24 per cent of independent providers are still to contribute so women undergoing a procedure are being urged to speak to their surgeons and request that their details are added to the register.

Thousands of women were affected by faulty Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) silicone breast implants, which were banned in 2010. When the implants were recalled, poor record-keeping meant many women were unsure whether they had this type of implant and some could not be contacted.

The Keogh Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions, was written in response to this, and made a series of recommendations including that a national breast and cosmetic implant registry was established.

Between the launch of the registry in October 2016 and the end of January 2018, details of 12,301 patient records and 12,555 procedures were added.

Tom Denwood, Executive Director of Data, Insights and Statistics at NHS Digital, said: “The development of the Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry marked a major step forward in improving patient safety for those undergoing breast implant surgery. “Now we are encouraging patients to ask their surgeon to submit their data to the registry and we hope this will lead to an increase in contributions.

“The more information that is contained within this important tool, the more it will benefit patients.”