Any suspension of use of mesh in surgery should extend to Northern Ireland, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has suggested if a motion seeking the suspension of the use of surgical mesh passes the House of Commons it should be clarified by the UK Government that the suspension will also apply in Northern Ireland.

The motion, being brought by Labour MP Emma Hardy tomorrow (Thursday), follows scores of complaints about the implants cutting into tissue. Ms Bradshaw said guidelines from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) already recommend against the use of surgical mesh for pelvic organ prolapse.

“However, this is far from a technical issue. I have heard over the past few months from lots of women here in Northern Ireland, and also some men, who have had mesh used in surgery to treat hernia problems, of lives horribly disrupted by complications arising from these procedures.

“I have spoken to people who have had to give up jobs, restrict social activities and faced constant pain as a result. Although reviews are ongoing in Northern Ireland, it is long past time for clear intervention so no-one else encounters the same severe difficulties.

“I have written to the Department to seek assurances it will act within NICE recommendations and adopt guidance based on them coming forward from the UK Government in England and Wales.

“I would urge Northern Ireland MPs to attend the Commons and to support the motion on behalf of constituents here, and for the UK Government to ensure any action taken on the basis of NICE recommendations applies clearly to Northern Ireland.”

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