Cam­paign­ers wel­come mesh surgery re­view for women

Yorkshire Post - - POLITICS & ECONOMY -

The Labour leader of Haringey Coun­cil is to stand down af­ter com­plain­ing of sex­ism and bul­ly­ing be­hav­iour dur­ing a bit­ter party row over re­de­vel­op­ment.

Claire Kober will not seek re-elec­tion in the north Lon­don bor­ough in May fol­low­ing a long-run­ning con­tro­versy over a pro­posed £2bn hous­ing project in the bor­ough.

Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn has op­posed the project. CAM­PAIGN­ERS HAVE wel­comed a Gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion to carry out a study which should pro­vide “cru­cial” an­swers about how many women have been af­fected by con­tro­ver­sial mesh surgery.

A ret­ro­spec­tive au­dit into vagi­nal mesh surgery has been a key de­mand of the All Party Par­lia­men­tary Group (APPG) on Sur­gi­cal Mesh Im­plants.

NHS Eng­land es­ti­mates more than 100,000 women have been op­er­ated on us­ing mesh and that com­pli­ca­tions af­fect be­tween three and five per cent of cases.

The pro­ce­dures in­volve insert­ing a plas­tic mesh into the vagina to sup­port the blad­der, womb or bowel in cases of uri­nary in­con­ti­nence and pelvic or­gan pro­lapse. How­ever, some re­cent stud­ies sug­gest se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions oc­cur for one in ten women.

Kath San­som, founder of Sling the Mesh, said: “Af­ter two decades of mesh use with poor au­dit, the Gov­ern­ment is fi­nally hear­ing the voices of women whose lives have changed be­yond re­pair.

“A sur­vey of 570 women in Sling The Mesh shows a third have suf­fered mesh slice into their vagina or or­gans and eight out of ten have pain walk­ing or sit­ting.

“Six out of ten have lost part­ners be­cause of the strain while seven out of ten have lost sex lives. A third have had to give up work be­cause of pain. Not sur­pris­ingly six out of ten suf­fer de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety.”

More than 800 women are tak­ing le­gal ac­tion in the UK against the NHS and man­u­fac­tur­ers. Last De­cem­ber New Zealand be­came the first ma­jor coun­try to ef­fec­tively ban the im­plants over safety con­cerns.

Aus­tralia also banned mesh for pelvic or­gan pro­lapse last year for be­ing too risky. The Depart­ment of Health and So­cial Care au­dit should pro­vide the most ac­cu­rate data pos­si­ble about how many women in Eng­land have had mesh im­planted, and how many have ex­pe­ri­enced com­pli­ca­tions.

West Hull and Hessle MP Emma Hardy, vice chair of the APPG, said the “tra­jec­tory of travel is def­i­nitely mov­ing away” from vagi­nal mesh surgery. She added: “There are lots of ques­tions that re­main unan­swered. Why has no one lis­tened or taken it se­ri­ously be­fore? The main fo­cus now has to be on gath­er­ing ev­i­dence and bring­ing for­ward NICE guide­lines and hope­fully sus­pend­ing its use.”

The Depart­ment of Health said it was “con­sult­ing with stake­hold­ers” on the is­sue. THE DEPUTY leader of North York­shire County Coun­cil says he is propos­ing a 4.99 per cent coun­cil tax rise “very re­luc­tantly”.

The author­ity’s ex­ec­u­tive rec­om­mended a pack­age of sav­ings as part of the £142m of cuts made since the start of the decade.

The rec­om­men­da­tion, which will be con­sid­ered by full coun­cil on Fe­bru­ary 21, in­cludes an in­crease in gen­eral coun­cil tax next year of 2.99 per cent along with a two per cent so­cial care pre­cept, mak­ing a to­tal of 4.99 per cent.

Gareth Dadd, North York­shire’s deputy leader, said: “I pro­pose this coun­cil tax rise very re­luc­tantly. We must do what we can to pro­tect ser­vices for the vul­ner­a­ble, the el­derly and the young.”

Sep­a­rately, Brad­ford Coun­cil has re­duced its £10.5m over­spend to £600,000 for the com­ing fi­nan­cial year, de­spite over­spends in health and well­be­ing and chil­dren’s ser­vices.

Said the main fo­cus now must be on gath­er­ing ev­i­dence on mesh im­plants.

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