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The reaction of Thompsons NI to the report of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices

Thompsons NI strongly welcome the recommendations of the report of the Independent Medicines and Devices Safety Review.

The report rightly acknowledges the suffering of many ladies whose health and lives have often been seriously affected by the insertion of mesh devices. In relation to the three medical products included in the review, of which mesh devices were one, the Chair of the review team, Baroness Cumberlege, stated: “I have conducted many reviews and inquiries over the years, but have never encountered anything like this, the intensity of suffering experienced by so many families, and the fact that they have endured it for decades. Much of this suffering was entirely avoidable, caused and compounded by failings in the health system itself.”

Among the recommendations made in the report was the need for more, and better, information to be made available to patients, specifically as part of the medical consent process. The report highlights the fundamental importance of patients giving proper consent to medical treatment when it states: “Consent can only be informed consent when the patient understands both the procedure and the risks. Lack of effective communication deprives patients of their autonomy, and that is wrong and unacceptable.”

The report also highlights the need for surgeons to have undergone appropriate and adequate training to enable them to perform procedures and such training should be assured through the appraisal process.

Unfortunately, as has been acknowledged by the review, many ladies did not receive adequate information or support and, as a result, have suffered, and continue to suffer, greatly.

Change and reform is long overdue for these ladies. We would call for the recommendations made by Baroness Cumberlege and her team to be grasped and effectively and promptly implemented.

Thompsons NI have been supporting and representing affected ladies who are members of Victims’ groups, including Sling The Mesh NI and Mesh Ireland.

One of the clients who we are supporting, Mrs Yvonne McIntosh, stated: “No one could ever fully appreciate the devastating effect which mesh has had upon every aspect of my life. It has been, and continues to be, a long and both emotionally and physically draining experience. It is a journey which I would not wish upon anyone.”

You can read Yvonne's interview with BBC Northern Ireland as she talks about her experience with vaginal mesh here.

If you have had a mesh device implanted, have experienced side effects and further problems and would like to speak to one of our specialist solicitors for further advice, please contact either Oonagh McClure or Joanne Kerr on 02890 890450 for a free, no-obligation consultation.