Northern Ireland

Vaginal mesh surgery advice issued to GPs by NI health board

Surgery
Image caption A HSCB letter, leaked to the BBC, advises GPs to refer patients with complications back to their health trust

The Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) has written to GPs advising what action they should take if any of their patients experience problems after vaginal mesh surgery.

The move comes after the BBC revealed that a number of women felt physically and mentally scarred after having the implants.

Mesh or tape implants are used to treat organ prolapse or urinary incontinence.

These conditions can be common after childbirth.

The board's letter, leaked to the BBC, advised GPs to refer the women back to the health trust that performed the surgery with a letter stating that the referral is "because of problems associated with mesh surgery".

The letter goes on to state that each trust should have arrangements in place for these women to be seen by a consultant.

A spokesperson for the local action group, which now has over 250 members, welcomed the move but told the BBC that it was sad that some women had to go public with their personal stories in order for some health professionals to take them seriously.

In July, a group of women from across the UK affected by vaginal mesh implants, including many from Northern Ireland, met with MPs at Westminster as part of a campaign to ban the procedure.

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