Cross-Party Mesh Group welcomes announcement on Mesh guidelines but calls on Government to conduct full audit

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Surgical Mesh Implants welcomes the announcement made today by the Public Health Minister, Jackie Doyle-Price, that the Government is to bring forward NICE guidelines on the treatment of Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Stress Urinary Incontinence using Surgical Mesh.

Guidelines had been due to be issued in 2019 and the APPG has been campaigning for a swifter response by Government and NICE to the growing concerns about the relative risk of treatment with Trans Vaginal Tape or Mesh.

Commenting on the Government’s decision to ask NICE to produce guidelines before Christmas, Owen Smith MP, Chair of the All Party Group said:

“Women who have been treated with Mesh, or who are contemplating such treatment will be pleased that the Government has agreed to bring forward new guidelines as soon as is possible. However, many of the women who attended today’s important first Parliamentary debate on Mesh were deeply disappointed to hear the minister declare that ‘the issue is not with the product but with clinical practice’ – that statement is not supported by clinical evidence which clearly shows that in a significant minority of women the nature and make up of mesh, especially polypropylene mesh, has been responsible for serious and chronic adverse reactions. And it is not acceptable for the Minister to pass the buck on behalf of the companies who produce mesh to the surgeons who implant their devices. Not least, because almost all clinicians in this debate concede that we still have insufficient evidence about the long term effects of mesh.

“That is why the Government should conduct a full retrospective audit of all patients who have been treated with mesh, and also insist on a prospective registry of any new patients. Only then will we have some clarity, in England at least, on how many women have been treated with mesh, and for how many that treatment has caused life-changing complications. Until we have that certainty and a clearer sense of the true, long term risks and benefits of mesh, its use by the NHS should be suspended.”


Notes to editors:

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Surgical Mesh Implants, Chaired by Owen Smith MP, has been calling for the suspension of mesh and a full investigation in the use of mesh. It has also called for NICE guidelines on POP and SUI to be urgently brought forward.

Surgical Mesh Implants was debated by MPs in Westminster Hall today. Full text of the debate is available online:

The debate can also be viewed online:

For further information please contact Katie Murdoch [email protected] or 020 7219 1287.