For the second time in a week The Victoria Derbyshire Show visits the Fens to expose hidden scandals. First the repeated teacher sexual abuse of a Whittlesey student, next, mesh implants
- Credit: Archant
An award winning TV presenter is, for the second time in a week, homing in on the Fens for a documentary to expose hidden scandal.
Last week Victoria Derbyshire told how a teenager at a Whittlesey school was paid £550,000 compensation after she was repeatedly sexually abused by her teacher, despite warnings about him from a social worker. The rapes happened at the school in the 1990s.
On her BBC2 show on Tuesday, (18), Victoria and her team will unravel the horror of controversial mesh implants used in women’s surgeries that have life changing risks not properly explained to patients.
Victoria and her editor Louisa Compton are never afraid to shy away from difficult issues.
Recent topics include interviewing the four footballers at the centre of shocking sexual abuse allegations, regarded as one of the scoops of 2016.
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Other stories include racism in the music industry, the lives of transgender children and giving frank and open accounts into her own journey of beating breast cancer.
Mum of two Kath Sansom, who works as a journalist for our newspapers and launched Sling The Mesh campaign after suffering from one of the implants given to her on the NHS in 2015, said: “We cannot thank Victoria and her team enough for the hours of hard work they have put into making a documentary about mesh implants and featuring it on their show.
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“A lot of mainstream media have been afraid to cover the issue as it involves what they see as an embarrassing women’s health issue of incontinence and prolapse, often caused by natural childbirth or menopause.
“However this is a story of personal tragedy for thousands of women whose lives have been devastated after they went for what they were told was a simple surgery, only to have their health ruined in just 20 minutes.
“The old fashioned surgical fixes for these problems can take up to three hours and involve up around four days recovery in hospital.
“This mesh implant fix takes less than half an hour as a day case.
“It doesn‘t take a genius to work out whey the NHS push this operation as gold standard - the money saving issue is real.
“However, women are being maimed for life. Unlike other medical implants, once this has been put in, it is really difficult to remove.
“One patient, a teaching assistant from Lincolnshire, had the implant in for just nine weeks. In that short space of time she virtually lost the ability to walk and was unable to care for her young daughter.
“She developed dangerously high blood pressure and excruciating pain.
“She used her savings to get the implant removed privately but despite getting it out - even in that short space of time - her health has been seriously compromised and she has now developed a hernia - which surgeons want to fix with more mesh.
“For all of us we have to get used to living a new normal,” Kath said.
The mesh implants can be fine for years and then, as if from nowhere, cause problems - even as late as 14 years down the line as they can shrink, twist or degrade.
The NHS has set up 16 specialist centres across England to deal with mesh complications.
“They know there are problems - so why don’t they apply the precautionary principle and stop the operation instead of allowing other women to walk into the operating theatre and be potentially maimed for life,” Kath said.
• Watch the show on Tuesday April 18 on BBC2 from 9am to 11am. It switches to the BBC News channel at 10am.