Immediate suspension of use of surgical mesh is excellent news

The decision by Baroness Cumberlege’s Medicine and Medical Devices Safety Review to suspend the use of surgical mesh for stress urinary incontinence is really good news. I have been campaigning for this on behalf of constituents and the announcement can’t come soon enough for many women who have been injured and suffered agonising pain because of mesh surgery. They have shown great bravery and dignity in speaking out about this and I am delighted that the message been heard.

I’d also like to pay tribute to Baroness Cumberlege for acting so swiftly after hearing evidence from a number of women and also thank the former Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, for setting up the review and for accepting its recommendations. Following the announcement, Baroness Cumberlege said “We strongly believe that mesh must not be used to treat women with stress urinary incontinence until we can manage the risk of complications much more effectively. We have not seen evidence on the benefits of mesh that outweighs the severity of human suffering caused by mesh complications. At this stage in our Review we are not recommending a ban, but a halt to procedures until the conditions we have laid down are met. I am pleased that both the Department of Health & Social Care and NHS England support our recommendation, and I look forward to its quick implementation.”

The surgery which, usually takes less than an hour, involves inserting a plastic mesh into the vagina to support the bladder, womb or bowel but it has left thousands of women in agony. Jackie Cheetham from Allerston, near Pickering, who has been in pain for years following her operation for a relatively minor condition and whose story I shared in the House of Commons said ‘It is fantastic news and I am overjoyed by the decision and would like to thank everyone who made this happen from the bottom of my heart’