Patients treated privately with PIP breast implants at a London foundation trust will have them removed and replaced free of charge if necessary, it has been confirmed.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust did not treat any NHS patients with the Poly Implant Prothese implants, which have seen safety concerns, but did treat 138 patients privately with them since 2001.

Department of Health policy is that NHS patients who need removal and replacement will be treated for free.

The DH has said it “strongly expects” private facilities to do the same for their patients but not all plan to do so.

The department said if the provider no longer exists or refuses to help the NHS will cover the cost of removing the implants if there is a clinical need, but will not replace private cosmetic implants.

Guy’s confirmed on Thursday (9 February) that it will apply the same standard to its private patients as it would have done had they been funded by the NHS.

It is not known if any other foundation trusts treated private patients with PIP implants.

The Foundation Trust Network said it had not received enquiries from trusts on the matter.

Guy’s said there were “complexities” in addressing the 138 patients because some were “from out of the immediate catchment area”.