Belfast solicitor welcomes NHS England suspension of mesh operations

Nicholas Quinn
Nicholas Quinn

A Belfast-based solicitor specialising in civil litigation has welcomed a decision by NHS England to suspend surgical procedures using vaginal mesh devices over safety concerns.

Nicholas Quinn, solicitor at Ó Muirigh Solicitors, told Irish Legal News that the decision “will be welcome news to those affected by it”, though it was not yet clear if the decision would be extended to Northern Ireland.

An immediate end to the procedures was a key recommendation of a review group chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege.

Mr Quinn added: “It is important to keep in mind that the review body have recommended that the procedure be halted, as opposed to banned, until March 2019, if certain conditions are met.

“What is objectively clear is that the mesh device in question has been the source of significant life changing injuries to thousands of women in the UK. It will be the subject of many hundreds, if not thousands, of defective medical product claims.”

Mr Quinn is involved in similar ongoing litigation concerning the use of the Essure sterilisation device in women.

Like the vaginal mesh devices, the Essure device has been the subject of “adverse medical and scientific criticism”, he said.

Mr Quinn said it remained unclear “whether or not mesh manufacturers will withdraw this medical product from the market and/or the NHS will implement a ban in respect of same in due course”.

He said: “The widespread media coverage will hopefully make patients explore other options before electing for the mesh procedure.

“It also raises major issues concerning whether or not proper information was imparted to patients by doctors on the risks v. benefits of the mesh in order for them to give fully informed consent, given what the NHS would have known at the relevant time about its problems.”