A Yorkshire law firm is representing hundreds of women who have breast implants made from industrial silicone and which are currently at the centre of an international health scare.
Since setting up a special helpline, Harrogate-based Ashworth Law has been in-undated with enquiries from women whose surgeons used the PIP implants in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.
The firm’s litigation department, headed by Lucy-Ann Kirkham – a member of the Law Society Specialist Personal Injury Panel – has also set up a “support group” offering up to date legal advice and the current medical recommendations.
Ashworth Law is also calling on the Government to resurrect a national implant database shelved a number of years ago. Had this been in existence, it would not only have identified all those with the PIP implants, but equally important, would have shown any irregularities with the product, such as rupture rates.
It is estimated that as many as 40,000 women in the UK have the implants made from the industrial-grade silicone, which is usually found in memory-foam mattresses and computers.
Mrs Kirkham said:
We are acting for more than 400 women from all over the country with breast implants made by the French company, Poly Implant Prosthesis.
The women we are speaking to are naturally very anxious and have a number of concerns. There is a lot of conflicting information and our team gives them the facts as they currently stand and, more importantly, can update them as soon as anything changes.
We talk them through the process and we are there for them around the clock. We believed it was important to set up a support group to offer up-to-the-minute guidance and advice. Keeping our clients informed is key.
We are now asking the Government to re-instigate a national implant database. In light of this controversy we believe one is essential. It will lead to safeguards for those undergoing cosmetic or reconstructive surgery.
Mrs Kirkham said the majority of her clients underwent surgery in the UK, but some had their procedures in Holland, Germany, Turkey and Thailand. The team has also received enquiries from women living in Australia and New Zealand.
Ashworth Law’s dedicated PIP team can be contacted on 0800 612 2788.