Two years ago, it seemed that thousands of British women afflicted with crippling pain, ruined sex lives, shattered relationships and wrecked careers would finally get justice and practical redress.
A government-commissioned report, following a campaign backed by Good Health, recognised that the plastic mesh tape surgeons had used to treat their incontinence and prolapse had caused some women catastrophic harm.
How many women’s lives have been ruined by this mesh is unknown, but Baroness Cumberlege, who led the official review, estimated it to be ‘tens of thousands’.
The use of the mesh for stress urinary incontinence was paused in July 2018 as recommended by the inquiry’s preliminary report — then the concluding report, in July 2020, said that this pause should continue until strict requirements on safety and recompense are met.
These include the establishment of specialist centres to remove mesh from afflicted women, and financial compensation from government and mesh manufacturers for women affected, as well as the setting up of a database of victims to ascertain the numbers involved and their injuries.
The final report also urged that the watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which had approved the use of mesh tape in the 1990s, should be reformed to improve its vigilance on such problems.
Matt Hancock, then Health Secretary, apologised for the women’s pain. ‘We are going to look carefully at the recommendations,’ he told reporters in July 2020. ‘We need to take action.’
But words can be cheap: a Good Health investigation has found none of the recommendations has been implemented properly and the use of mesh in women is continuing.
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Source: MailOnline, 6 June 2022