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Bradshaw expresses concern over mesh implants decision

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has expressed concern at the decision to allow the resumption of vaginal mesh surgery in England and emphasised the decision cannot be replicated in Northern Ireland.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) said the controversial implants could be offered again on the NHS in England if conditions were met. It follows a suspension of the mesh across the UK last year.

"Although we have to respect NICE guidelines in Northern Ireland, there are two specific areas of concern with today's announcement," said Ms Bradshaw.
"Firstly, NICE does seem to be underestimating the trauma of women who have experienced the most appalling side effects. These need not be purely clinical. They can have wide-ranging effects on professional and family life, and on their mental well-being. I cannot help but think these issues have not been properly taken into account.
"Secondly, the decision still only allows for vaginal mesh procedures to be carried out in extremely limited circumstances, including with regard to the level of specialism required. It is highly unlikely these circumstances will be met in Northern Ireland.
"Only a few days ago, I met with campaigners against hernia mesh procedures, which follows other meetings with victims of mesh procedures. I remain unconvinced on the basis of those meetings such procedures are ever appropriate."