‘We should be offered compensation’ - Campaigner's plea to Steve Barclay

Campaigner Kath Sansom and health secretary Steve Barclay

Campaigner Kath Sansom will meet with health secretary Steve Barclay today. They will discuss financial redress for those suffering complications from pelvic mesh implants. - Credit: Archant

Pelvic mesh campaigner Kath Sansom is meeting with the health secretary Steve Barclay today (Friday) to discuss financial redress for those suffering complications from the procedure.

The UK government decided last year not to provide compensation to women whose lives had been affected by vaginal mesh implants.

But Kath Sansom, a Cambridgeshire mum and former journalist for this news outlet, has continued campaigning and says she will put pressure on the health secretary to revisit the issue.

It also comes as the government revealed victims of the 1970s and 1980s blood scandal will receive compensation for the impact it has had on their lives.

Ahead of her meeting with the Secretary of State for Health, she said: “We [mesh injured] deserve to be compensated based on the fact we are suffering lifelong damage from a health treatment that caused avoidable harm.

“It is not our fault this happened to us and the State should take responsibility.”

Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock issued a public apology when a public inquiry in 2020 revealed a shocking extent of patient failings and lack of regulation for mesh victims.

“The State has apologised for the suffering of the mesh community, which is an acknowledgement of responsibility,” Kath added.

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Kath launched the ‘Sling the Mesh’ campaign seven years ago to raise awareness of life-changing complications some women are suffering after the procedure.

Its Facebook group now has almost 10,000 members from around the world.

When she updated the community about her meeting with Steve Barclay, many shared an insight into their lives and the pain they’re experiencing.

One mentioned how, at the age of 48, she is now paying for carers.

She said: “Some people are realising they will live the rest of their lives in acute pain and nothing more can be done.

“Quality of life is appalling. I merely exist.”

Another added: “I know my life will never be the same after mesh, but we deserve to be paid compensation for our suffering for many years.”

It was recently announced that financial compensation will be paid to patients harmed by the infected blood scandal of the 1970s and 1980s.

“... on this principle we too should be offered compensation,” Kath said.

“It is the same story. We were innocently harmed, had to fight to be heard, then fight for financial compensation.”

North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay was appointed health secretary last month after Sajid Javid's resignation.