Mesh Campaigners welcome debate in Parliament

MPs will discuss the impact of mesh implants in a debate called by Emma Hardy, MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle, taking place in Westminster Hall at 9.30am on Wednesday.

Mesh surgery is a medical procedure used to treat incontinence and prolapse in women, often as a result of childbirth. An increasing number of women have reported suffering from complications after mesh surgery including debilitating pain, infection, inflammation, loss of sex life and mobility issues

The debate comes following the creation of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Surgical Mesh Implants, chaired by Owen Smith MP, which has called for the suspension of mesh surgery until more is known about its risks.

In conjunction with Sling the Mesh campaign group, the All Party Parliamentary Group has organised a meeting straight after the debate with mesh-injured women, clinicians and MPs to discuss mesh surgery and its risks.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Emma Hardy MP said:

“I’m delighted to have secured a debate on this very important issue. Since calling for this debate, my email inbox has been filling up with emails from men and women across the country telling me their horrific stories after having mesh implanted. I was first alerted to the issue of mesh complications after a constituent contacted me who had been suffering in silence for years. I hope that the government will take action and heed Labour’s call for a public inquiry into the use of mesh.”

Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Surgical Mesh Implants, Owen Smith commented:

“Mesh injury is one of the worst medical issues I’ve come across since becoming an MP. Since working with Sling the Mesh campaign, I have been contacted by countless women from right across the UK who have shared their heart breaking stories of their suffering following mesh surgery. The government must immediately review all mesh surgery and suspend the use of mesh until more is known about its risks.

“I’m pleased that Labour colleagues have listened to the concerns of Mesh-injured women and are now supporting suspension of mesh and a public enquiry into its usage. We now need the Tory Government to similarly acknowledge the scale of the problem, and to act.”

Kath Sansom of Sling The Mesh said: “People are waking up to the global scandal that is surgical mesh implants and at last it is on the political agenda at Westminster.

“The latest studies from NHS figures show the risk of having to go the hospital for a mesh complication is at least 1 in 10 and that figure is low as many more suffer but only go back and forth to their GP.

“When mesh complications hit it decimates the life of not just a woman but that of her family too.

“All those suffering are reporting the same crippling pain, some register disabled and many who have lost marriages, jobs, friends, husbands – all with vastly reduced quality of life.

“I put out a plea for people with mesh implants to email Sling The Mesh for me to bring their stories to Parliament and within two days received 400 from around the world – all heart breaking personal tragedies of people whose lives have been changed beyond recognition – to have been hit by this scale of human suffering over one weekend was deeply upsetting

“One of those was a women who is now 27 but ws given one mesh at the age of 13 and another at 16 as she was assured this new miracle fix would change her life. It did – she has suffered ever since but been ignored at every turn – she only found out this week that she is part of a global scandal and as shocked as we are that a girl so young was given this mesh surgery when she was still developing .

“It is time to say enough is enough, hold a public inquiry and suspend the use of pelvic mesh implants while this takes place.”


Notes to editors:
1. MPs will debate “the risks of surgical mesh implants” in Westminster Hall at 9.30am on Wednesday 18 October, in a debate called by Emma Hardy, MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle
2. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Surgical Mesh Implants, chaired by Owen Smith MP, has been calling for better support for mesh-injured women, together with the campaign group Sling the Mesh
3 Labour’s Shadow Public Health Minister, Sharon Hodgson has announced backing for public inquiry into mesh implants scandal