A mesh is a net-like fabric which can be attached into the wall of the vagina to act as a scaffold to provide permanent support to weakened organs, such as the bladder to manage symptoms of incontinence or conditions such as prolapses. It has been reported that more than 100,000 UK women have had a mesh fitted to treat symptoms of urinary stress incontinence.
The BBC has reported that many women have complained that the mesh implants have caused them agony, by cutting into tissue and leaving them with life-changing injuries, despite claims that there are very few complications from mesh implant insertion
As a result, the NHS led a review of the safety of mesh insertion.
The review’s chair, Baroness Julia Cumberlege has stated that she is ”appalled at the seriousness and scale of tragic stories’”.
The NHS review findings have shown that there was no evidence on the benefits for treating urinary incontinence that would outweigh “the severity of human suffering caused by mesh complications”. Controversially, the government are carrying out an audit to investigate how women have been adversely affected by the mesh.
Consequently, the NHS has put a pause on providing mesh treatment, but it is still to be considered as a last resort in extreme cases.
Baroness Julia Cumberlege stated there is “no doubt that this pause is necessary”. She believes that “we must stop exposing women to the risk of life-changing and life-threatening injuries and we must have measures in place to mitigate the risk, and those are sadly lacking at the moment”.
There will be a further review in March 2019 as to whether the pause can be lifted, if certain checks and measures are met.
Moosa-Duke Solicitors are specialists in clinical negligence law. If you believe that you or a family member have been a victim of negligence, due to private or NHS treatment, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0116 254 7456 to discuss your concerns.