Hundred set to sue NHS over vaginal mesh implants

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Over 800 women are to sue to NHS and manufacturers of vaginal mesh implants due to painful and serious complications, according to the BBC.

Some women have been left in permanent pain, unable to walk or have sex, due to the pain caused by the mesh implants cutting into the vagina.

The BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Programme heard from women who called the implants ‘barbaric’, with one stating the mesh ‘had cut its way through like a cheese wire’. Another was left considering suicide due to the pain.

The meshes are made from polypropylene, with a number of manufacturers supplying the NHS. They are used to treat incontinence and organ prolapse following childbirth.

NHS data from the Hospital Episodes Statistics, accessed by the Victoria Derbyshire Programme, shows that between April 2007 and March 2015 more than 92,000 women had vaginal mesh implants in England, with one in 11 suffering complications.

Despite the concerns raised to the BBC, the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said that the continued use of mesh implants was supported by ‘the best current evidence’.

A spokesperson for the MHRA said: ‘What we have seen, and continue to see, is that evidence supports, and the greater proportion of the clinical community and patients support, the use of these devices in the UK for treatment of the distressing conditions of incontinence and organ prolapse in appropriate circumstances.’

Labour MP Owen Smith called for an investigation into the use of vaginal mesh. Speaking to the BBC, he said: ‘I think there is a really good case for saying “suspend its usage” until there is clarity about the scale of the problems we’re facing.’

According to BBC sources, those seeking legal action against the NHS and manufacturers could be in line for tens of millions of pounds in compensation if successful.