NI women to make vaginal mesh implant medical negligence claim

By Brian Donnelly

A group of Northern Ireland women are bringing a medical negligence claim against the NHS in respect of physical and mental harm caused by vaginal mesh implants.

The mesh implants are used to treat organ prolapse and urinary incontinence, which can often affect women following childbirth. The mesh is made of a form of plastic called polypropylene, and it is used to hold up the internal organs and to prevent leakage of urine. Figures show that the vaginal mesh implants have been used in over 4,300 operations in Northern Ireland in the last 10 years. A large number of women have reported experiencing pain and long-lasting complications, with many describing how the mesh cuts through the flesh like a saw.

The mesh devices have been described as "acceptably safe" if used "properly and as intended" by the UK's medical products regulator. Figures suggest that 1 in 11 women who have a vaginal mesh or other type of tape implant experience problems, and a report is due to be published following the launch of an independent review group by the Scottish government into the safety of the implants.

The NHS in England has already paid £327,798 in compensation in respect of medical negligence claims brought by 4 women who said the mesh was used without their full consent. A further £204,000 compensation has been paid to 7 women who brought medical negligence claims, and 21 claims are ongoing. A group of women in Northern Ireland are now bringing a clinical negligence claim against the NHS.

If you require legal advice from a medical negligence solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by clicking here.