Sling the Mesh: MP is ‘cautiously optimistic’ about future patient care for women

PUBLISHED: 13:43 27 July 2015 | UPDATED: 13:43 27 July 2015

Kath Sansom has launched a campaign against a gynaecology operation in which a TVT sling is used. Picture: HELEN DRAKE

Kath Sansom has launched a campaign against a gynaecology operation in which a TVT sling is used. Picture: HELEN DRAKE

Archant

A meeting took place at the House of Commons this week, prompted by two March mums who within a month of each other, contacted MP Steve Barclay urging him to help stop others suffering as they have done.

Steve Barclay is calling for Peterborough Hospital to review how it handles complaintsSteve Barclay is calling for Peterborough Hospital to review how it handles complaints

P Steve Barclay said he has been left “cautiously optimistic” after meeting one of the heads of the Government’s medicines watchdog body to talk about reporter Kath Sansom’s Sling The Mesh campaign.

After a 75 minute meeting with Professor Keith Willett, director of acute episodes of care NHS England, Mr Barclay said: “I’m pleased that Prof Willett agreed to meet with me and found his willingness to be open in his discussion both helpful and reassuring.

“It is clear that senior clinicians are aware of patients concerns, and having discussed this with Prof Willett, I am cautiously optimistic that changes will be made to reduce risks from operations and better protect patients.

“I stressed a number of points on behalf of my two constituents Kath Sansom and June Smith. These included whether patients receive sufficient information on risks prior to an implant, concerns over product regulation, questions over whether the complaints data reveals the full extent of medical complications, and also whether remediation, which is often complex where complications arise, is proceeding as it needs to.

June Smith contacted MP Steve Barclay to ask him to do something about the TVT and TVTO mesh sling operationJune Smith contacted MP Steve Barclay to ask him to do something about the TVT and TVTO mesh sling operation

“It’s clear that a considerable amount of work has been under taken over the last year. During that time the awareness of patient complications and concerns has increased significantly.

“I understand an interim report is due in September which will include data on patients who have experienced difficulty following implants. This will better inform the debate as to what changes are needed.

“I understand that these issues fall within the scope of the work undertaken by Prof Willett and am sure many of the families affected will keenly await the outcome. This will enable a more detailed and better informed debate in September on where we go from here.”

Kath said: “I am delighted at Mr Barclay’s positive meeting and hope that once the report is published he can meet Mr Willett again to discuss matters further.”

Across Europe discussions on the mesh sling device are snowballing and the operation is subject to a full report.

Leading the discussion is East Midlands MEP Glennis Willmott who said; “The EU is currently drafting new legislation on medical devices.

“Patients rightly expect that if a device has been authorised, then it is safe, and we need to ensure that their safety and well-being is an absolute priority.

“The rules need to be tightened up, especially for high risk devices, which should undergo thorough clinical investigations before being authorised. We should also put in place a strong system of post-market surveillance so that any unforeseen problems are identified early and patients and doctors immediately informed.

“The new law must be agreed with all 28 EU Member States and I hope we will be able to move forward with this soon so that we can get this new legislation in place to provide the strong protection that patients deserve.”

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