CAMPAIGNERS advocating for a ban on the use of surgical mesh in operations in Wales have met with the cabinet secretary for health, Vaughan Gething AM, to discuss their concerns in the Senedd.

Backed by Vale of Glamorgan AM Jane Hutt, a delegation of mesh survivors presented evidence to the cabinet secretary yesterday (Monday, January 22) to be passed on to a working group set up to examine the impact of mesh on patients in Wales.

Surgical mesh has been described as "the new thalidomide" by critics, who have described the lack of investigation into its use as a "scandal."

Mesh is typically used to combat bowel and bladder problems, predominantly – though not exclusively – in women. It is designed to support internal organs to give them greater stability, however it has been criticised by some who say they have been left with life-changing injuries as a result of having such a procedure.

Cross-party calls for a suspension and public inquiry into the use of surgical mesh led to a debate in Westminster last year, however the motion was rejected by the government.

Long-term campaigner Jemima Williams, from Barry, said that Mr Gething had agreed to make a statement in the Senedd regarding the issue.

Jane Hutt said: “I pay tribute to my constituents for their courage in coming forward to give their personal experiences of the adverse impact that MESH has had on their lives.

"Points raised at the meeting included the need for mandatory reporting of adverse incidents and a guide for patients to report via the Yellow card scheme, and better safety measures that can be assessed and audited. Also, the need for patient information leaflets which are fully informative of complications, statistics and advice on mesh materials.

"I look forward to receiving the report from the working group and statement from the cabinet secretary in due course and will continue to support my constituents whose lives have been so adversely affected by this procedure."