Two more private firms have agreed to remove PIP breast implants free of charge.

Transform, which has just over 4,000 patients in the UK with the implants, performed a U-turn after originally saying patients would have to pay.

The Hospital Group has also now said it will fund removal of the implants.

In a statement, Transform thanked “all patients who have been bearing with us during the last few weeks”.

It said moving forwards patients who have had PIP implants put in since January 1 2001 will be offered free removal.

The company will also offer free scans.

Any patient wishing to have their implants replaced, whether ruptured or not, will have to pay £2,500.

“There is no commercial gain for Transform in this price,” the statement said.

For those patients who had their operation post 2006, they may still be within their warranty period. These patients will be eligible for free removal and replacement.

The Hospital Group said it will remove implants free of charge for patients who had operations between 2001 and 2009, with any replacements costing between £1,500 and £3,500.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley has been calling on private clinics to honour the “duty of care” they owe patients after the government offered free removals to those affected.

Around 40,000 British women have received PIP implants manufactured by the now closed French company Poly Implant Prostheses (PIP).

The implants were filled with non-medical grade silicone intended for use in mattresses.

The Harley Medical Group, which fitted the breast implants to almost 14,000 British women, has said it will not replace them free of charge.

The firm fitted more of the implants than any other UK cosmetic surgery firm but claims replacing the banned implants would put it out of business.

Other providers, including BMI Healthcare, Nuffield Health and Spire, have agreed to free removal.

Today’s news comes after the former head of PIP was arrested together with his former deputy in south-east France.

Jean-Claude Mas, who founded and ran PIP, was detained as part of a judicial investigation in the city of Marseille into manslaughter and involuntary injuries, police said.

The company’s former number two executive, Claude Couty, was also detained, according to an official.