Healthcare: On the Agenda - Nuffield to fund implants removal

In a nutshell

Nuffield Health, one of Britain's leading private healthcare firms, became the first to say it would fund the removal of defective breast implants given to thousands of British women. The firm announced it would meet the cost of removing the implants, made by French company Poly Implants Protheses (PIP), amid ongoing concerns about the safety of the products.

About the implants

The PIP implants were banned in 2010 after they were found to contain industrial grade silicone gel, rather than medical grade, and have an increased risk of rupturing.

Health scare

The implants caused an international health scare after French authorities found a rupture rate of five per cent and recommended that they should be removed. Nuffield announced it would fund the removal of the implants in Britain despite figures in the UK indicating a much lower rupture rate.

PR strategy

All PR for Nuffield Health is handled in-house. A press statement was drafted and sent out to key health and news correspondents. Information for patients was placed on the website and staff were engaged so they could support patients calling in.

Media coverage

Nuffield's announcement on 4 January was covered extensively by broadcast media (Sky News, ITV News, Daybreak), print media (The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Guardian, Daily Express, Daily Mirror and The Sun) and online, as well as creating extensive debate on Twitter.

5% - Rupture rate of PIP breast implants found by French authorities

40k - Number of British women thought to have been fitted with PIP implants

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