Making A Difference Winner Sees Victory For Mesh Victims

The winner of a News Media Assocation award for powerful news media campaigning has won a key victory and will receive an official apology from the Government after suffering ongoing pain from a mesh sling operation.

Kath Sansom, of the Cambs Times, founded the Sling the Mesh campaign after suffering ongoing pain following a mesh sling operation and has campaigned for years on the issue. 

Kath discovered it was a global problem and became a regular guest of MPs – to seek acknowledgement that the operation is flawed and to have it suspended.

Kath’s campaigning saw her win the NMA’s 2018 Making a Difference Award, an award which is part Journalism Matters and celebrates the power of local newspapers campaigning for positive change.

Overseen by Baroness Cumberlege, a review into Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety led to a pause in mesh procedures after the stories of women who had suffered from the procedure were heard. 

Kath said: “While we welcome all of the recommendations in the Baroness Cumberlege ‘First Do No Harm’ Report there is no glory in knowing thousands of women have been maimed by mesh since the late 1990s then ignored when they asked for help suffering debilitating, life altering and irreversible pain.

“Women were used as cannon fodder in the mesh implant scandal and nobody bothered helping them when they needed it.

“There are nearly 8,200 in support group Sling the Mesh but those suffering are only the tip of the iceberg. The average time for women to report mesh complications average of seven years later.

“There are many more women yet to come out of the woodwork suffering shocking complications following this quick fix operation, mostly given to correct problems caused by childbirth.”

Emma Hardy MP, former vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Surgical Mesh, added: “This report is welcomed by the many thousands of women that have suffered due to surgical mesh.

“After many years campaigning and many years of pain, their voices are now finally heard, and they now have received an official apology.

“This battle was an uphill one that faced constant dismissal of repeated appeals from many women suffering appalling pain and the mishandling of complaints.

“However, the repercussions and effects of surgical mesh implants will for many be with them for the rest of their life.

“Whilst I welcome this report, we now need to see the changes suggested by this report put into practice and we need to see real results for those that have unnecessarily suffered.”