The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry (BCIR) is a system designed to capture the details of all breast implant procedures completed in England by both NHS and private healthcare providers.
The register was launched on 10th October 2016 by NHS Digital following the Keogh Review of the Regulation of Cosmetic Interventions. This was an independent review carried out in response to the recall of the Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP) breast implants in 2010. The report set out recommendations to protect patients who have had cosmetic surgery which included the BCIR (The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry).
The BCIR will record the details of every person who has breast implant surgery, breast explant (removal) and any type of breast surgery that uses breast implants or tissue expanders, in case of a product recall or another safety concern.
There are almost 60,000 patients in England and Scotland who are registered on The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry but unfortunately it has been reported that a large number of patients are missing from the registry.
New data for 2020 has shown that 10,500 operations were recorded in 2020 but officials have estimated this only 55% of cases which suggest that around 8,485 patients were not added. See more information here.
“We want all patients, past and present, to be aware that the registry exists and ensure they are included by speaking to their surgeons.” – Lee Martin, Chair of The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry Steering group and NHS breast surgeon.
Who runs The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry?
The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry is managed by NHS Digital which is the national information and technology partner to the health and social care system and provides digital services for the NHS and social care. NHS Digital is then also supported by the relevant cosmetic and surgical professional groups:
- British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS)
- British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS)
- Association of Breast Surgery (ABS)
What details about me are held on is The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry?
When you register your details on The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry it will involve sharing the following information:
- Your NHS number
- Your surname
- Your first name
- Your postcode
- Your date of birth
- Name of your surgeon
- Details of the surgical procedure
- Details of the implant used
NHS Digital takes its responsibility for looking after care information very seriously, and follows the legal rules, guidance and practices known as Information Governance (IG) for both the collection of the registry data and the IT systems used. No aspects of the information will be sold or made available to commercial companies for other uses.
Am I on The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry?
From January 2019, patient consent was no longer required for a patients record to be added to The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry. Submission of records to the registry is now mandatory for any NHS funded patients and is requested for privately funded patients being treated in any provider in England and Scotland. However, past patients’ records are still not allowed to be added without the patient’s consent. If you are unsure if you are on the registry or not, we recommend contacting your surgeon, the hospital where your surgery took place or submit a subject access request on the NHS Digital website.
Do I have to be on The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry?
After January 2019, the option to opt out does not apply because no information leaves NHS Digital that can identify you. It is a legal requirement that the hospital where you have your breast implant surgery sends the information required to be added to the registry.
What is The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry used for?
The main purpose of The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry is to have a record of patients who have had breast implant surgery so that they can be contacted if there was a product recall or safety concern that relates to an implant type. It also allows the identification of possible trends and complications relating to specific implants.
What happens if there is a product recall?
If there was a need to contact a patient in relation to patient safety then your personal details will be used by NHS Digital to trace your up to date and current details using the records held on the Central NHS Database, so don’t worry if you have moved house or changed your name.
The surgeon or organisation that carried out the breast implant surgery would then be provided with the patients up to date contact details so they can contact them to discuss what needs to be done to ensure patient safety.
In the event that the organisation who performed the surgery no longer exists then patients will be contacted by NHS Digital or for patients not in England, their healthcare provider.
Does The Private Clinic use The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry?
The Private Clinic ensures that all patient details are uploaded to The Breast Implant and Cosmetic Implant Registry following any type of breast implant surgery procedure at The Fitzroy Hospital or at any of the other external hospitals that our surgeons operate out of. Our surgeons will be able to provide more information about the BCIR and the process during your consultation.
Where can I find more information about The Breast and Cosmetic Implant Registry?
You can find out more about the BCIR on their website here.