"Mesh implants"

About: Gartnavel Royal Hospital Southern General Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I had a TVT-O fitted in 2011, I told the consultant who fitted it that I could not fully urinate after the catheter came out, I recall them looking uneasy then telling me it was just because of surgery as I had a full hysterectomy at same time.

I then went onto suffer horrifically for 16 months with an obstructed bladder, this was only discovered when I eventually booked a private consultation with another consultant, who then went on to cut the tape allowing me to urinate.

I had no more than 2 hours sleep at any one time over that 16 months, which left me feeling exhausted and suicidal.

I also lost my job, which I loved very much and for which I studied at college & university for many years to work in my chosen profession.

Since then I have had nothing but problems regarding the mesh, I can't walk for far & use a wheelchair if I am out. I am in daily pain and still feel there is no one who can help in Scotland.

I am part of the Scottish Mesh Survivors and now know why the original consultant looked uncomfortable when I told him I could not urinate, I believe they should have taken me back to surgery to see, but they let me go home to a life of suffering and this I find completely unacceptable.

My trust in the NHS is now very low, between how they treated me and in light that mesh is still being inserted into women (even though the suspension of mesh was introduced by Alex Neil in June of this year) is abominable. As Dr Frances Elliot's (Deputy Chief Medical Officer) letter dated 16 July 2014, encouraging all health boards in NHS Scotland to facilitate recruitment to clinical trials in this field. Myself and all other mesh injured victims are the proof that these mesh implants are dangerous.

Feeling very let down by the NHS.

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Responses

Response from Lorna Gray, Patient Experience, Public Involvement Project Manager, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

Dear Scottish Mesh Survivor,

I am very sorry to hear about your experience and the impact this has had on you. A number of other women have also contacted us detailing their similar experiences and I understand that this matter is currently under review by the Scottish Government. You can also make a complaint directly to the clinical department of the hospital where you have been treated.

I understand that additional details about this review will be provided by the Scottish Government, and I hope that this will provide you with further information.

With very best wishes,

Lorna

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Response from Craig White, Divisional Clinical Lead, Directorate of Health Quality and Strategy, Scottish Government

picture of Craig White

Dear Scottish Mesh survivor,

I was so sorry to read about the devastating personal impact of your experiences - and can't imagine how upsetting the changes in your life and quality of life have been for you. I can understand why your trust would have been shattered and how you feel let down. I know that my colleagues in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde who review Patient Opinion postings will want to reach out to you in an attempt to rebuild trust and offer you whatever support and help they can to address problems.

As you may know, an Independent Review of surgery using vaginal mesh has been set up by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing. This will examine adverse incidents and effects associated with this treatment. It will have the means both of identifying and determining the causes of issues where this is possible, and finding and implementing solutions.

An Expert Group, chaired by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer has also been set up to consider the issue of synthetic mesh implants in more detail. This Group has met three times and has published a patient information and consent leaflet for the surgical treatment of stress urinary incontinence in women.

This Booklet gives detailed information about the synthetic mid-urethral tape procedure and discusses the intended benefits and risks associated with the insertion of mesh implants. The booklet can be accessed at:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/06/2806

The Expert Group is currently developing a patient information and consent booklet for treatment of pelvic organ prolapse. New care pathways are also being developed for management of pelvic organ prolapse and for women presenting with complications. Discussions are also beginning in respect of the national planning required to reconfigure services to ensure women have access to appropriate clinical expertise and treatment. I know that this may be of little consolation to you now, and outline these actions to underline the importance that we attach to listening to people's experiences, reviewing, learning and taking all necessary actions to make improvements.

In his statement to Parliament on 26 June this year when the Cabinet Secretary announced he was setting up the Independent Review he made the following statement, “In addition, I have endorsed the position that, for the improvement of our future evidence, if women are being considered for entry into clinical trials, use of mesh for the conditions affected can be approved for those entered into the arms of the trial, provided that the risks that are associated with the procedure are fully explained.” Ethically approved clinical research is the only way we can learn about the appropriate treatments which should be offered to women with stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse. I have been advised that many more women benefit from these implants than come to harm as a result of them.

Part of the work of the Independent Review is to consider the personal experiences from Scottish women who have had problems as a result of mesh implants. I will make sure that the Deputy Chief Medical Officer arranges for your postings on Patient Opinion to be passed to the members of her Expert Group and that the Chair of the Independent Review is also advised of the details of your experiences.

Thank you for taking the time to write about what has happened to you,

Yours respectfully,

Craig White

Professor Craig A White

Divisional Clinical Lead, The Quality Unit

Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates

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