Government rejects call for vaginal mesh implants ban

A woman holding a poster that reads: Sling the mesh Image caption A group of 60 women met MPs in July to discuss their concerns over mesh implants

The government has rejected a call for an inquiry and a ban on surgical mesh implants across the UK.

It follows a debate on the matter by MPs in the House of Commons.

A number of women from Northern Ireland were among those who travelled to London to hear the debate take place.

The women said they had been left in chronic pain after they were given mesh or tape implants, which are used to treat organ prolapse and urinary incontinence.

Image caption The mesh is made of polypropolene and surgeons routinely use it in hernia repair

Use of the devices to treat those conditions has already been suspended in Scotland.

MPs had brought the concerns of hundreds of constituents, almost all of them women, who suffer severe pain and discomfort from the devices after they damaged their internal organs.

The mesh is made of polypropylene, a type of plastic, and surgeons routinely use it in hernia repair, for example.

While it is a successful operation in a majority of cases, it has gone badly wrong for others, leading to persistent pain, sexual problems or erosion of the mesh inside their bodies.

Image caption Mesh implants are used to treat organ prolapse and urinary incontinence

It is not clear how many women in Northern Ireland are affected by the issue.

The BBC has used Freedom of Information legislation to obtain this detail but figures are unclear due to the way operations have been recorded across the health trusts.

Speaking during the Westminster debate, Democratic Unionist Party MP Jim Shannon said he had received a "large number of emails from Northern Ireland people outlining their horrific experiences" after mesh surgery.

He added that his party was concerned by the issue and asking for "the best possible information, including better data for women considering the procedure".

Image caption The Scottish parliament put a moratorium on the implants in 2014

Jackie Harvey, from Banbridge in County Down, was among those who went to London for the debate.

"We're frustrated but won't let it stop us getting on with the campaign - we are only going to get louder and more determined," she said.

"We can say that we have been harmed by this stuff and we want the true scale of this scandal to come out."

Ms Harvey now runs an online forum of about 250 members to support those affected.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is due to publish updated guidance on the use of mesh implants in January....

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MPs reject call for vaginal mesh implants ban

A woman holding a poster that reads: Sling the mesh Image caption A group of 60 women met MPs in July to discuss their concerns over mesh implants

The government has rejected a call for an inquiry and a ban on surgical mesh implants across the UK.

It follows a debate on the matter by MPs in the House of Commons.

A number of women from Northern Ireland were among those who travelled to London to hear the debate take place.

The women said they had been left in chronic pain after they were given mesh or tape implants, which are used to treat organ prolapse and urinary incontinence.

Image caption The mesh is made of polypropolene and surgeons routinely use it in hernia repair

Use of the devices to treat those conditions has already been suspended in Scotland.

MPs had brought the concerns of hundreds of constituents, almost all of them women, who suffer severe pain and discomfort from the devices after they damaged their internal organs.

The mesh is made of polypropylene, a type of plastic, and surgeons routinely use it in hernia repair, for example.

While it is a successful operation in a majority of cases, it has gone badly wrong for others, leading to persistent pain, sexual problems or erosion of the mesh inside their bodies.

Image caption Mesh implants are used to treat organ prolapse and urinary incontinence

It is not clear how many women in Northern Ireland are affected by the issue.

The BBC has used Freedom of Information legislation to obtain this detail but figures are unclear due to the way operations have been recorded across the health trusts.

Speaking during the Westminster debate, Democratic Unionist Party MP Jim Shannon said he had received a "large number of emails from Northern Ireland people outlining their horrific experiences" after mesh surgery.

He added that his party was concerned by the issue and asking for "the best possible information, including better data for women considering the procedure".

Image caption The Scottish parliament put a moratorium on the implants in 2014

Jackie Harvey, from Banbridge in County Down, was among those who went to London for the debate.

"We're frustrated but won't let it stop us getting on with the campaign - we are only going to get louder and more determined," she said.

"We can say that we have been harmed by this stuff and we want the true scale of this scandal to come out."

Ms Harvey now runs an online forum of about 250 members to support those affected.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is due to publish updated guidance on the use of mesh implants in January....

Read more

Theresa May defends football referee Tory MP Douglas Ross

MP Douglas RossImage copyright PA Image caption Mr Ross has previously faced criticism for missing a Holyrood committee

The prime minister has defended Tory MP Douglas Ross, who is to miss a vote on Universal Credit to be an assistant referee at a Champions League match.

Mr Ross is in Spain for the Barcelona v Olympiakos game on the same day as a debate is held at Westminster.

The Moray MP was not down to speak before a non-binding vote on the new benefit.

Theresa May was forced to defend Mr Ross at Westminster after SNP MP John McNally raised the issue.

Brandishing a red card across the chamber, the Falkirk MP said Mrs May "will be aware that the honourable member for Moray is not in his place - indeed he is in Barcelona doing his other job, today of all days".

He continued:"What signal does she think this sends to hard working members of the public who are expected to turn up for their day jobs or face sanctions?"

Mrs May replied that Mr Ross's constituents would be pleased to have a Conservative MP, saying that "the Scottish Conservative members are doing more for the interests of Scotland in this parliament than the Scottish Nationalists have ever done."

Mr Ross, a former MSP, was criticised in November last year[2] for missing a Scottish Parliament committee meeting to run the line in a Champions League match in Portugal.

It led to calls for him to stand down from his frontbench role as the Scottish Conservative's justice spokesman.

Mr Ross later went on to defeat the SNP's Westminster leader[3] Angus Robertson at the general election in June.

Image caption Falkirk MP John McNally brandished a red card in the Westminster chamber

Mr Ross has been criticised by opponents for missing the universal credit debate.

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said Mr Ross was "yet again leaving his constituents without a voice in parliament because he'd rather rub shoulders with famous footballers".

And Labour's shadow Scotland Office minister Paul Sweeney said the Moray MP had shown "a perverse sense of priorities" in choosing the Champions League over a debate on "the huge damage that Universal Credit is causing".

'Sorry episode'

He said:"The rollout of universal credit has blighted lives across the country, forcing many to rely on food banks and crisis grants to get by.Yet Mr Ross doesn't even have the decency to turn up to Parliament and explain why he supports putting people through such misery.

"This sorry episode will leave Mr Ross's constituents in no doubt as to where his priorities lie and it's not playing the game for them."

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said Mr Ross had the support of the party and local voters - and insisted there would be many more Scottish Conservative representatives in this debate.

He added:"Douglas has held more than 50 surgeries since becoming an MP and has met personally with David Gauke to discuss local cases which have arisen from those.

"Despite what the SNP thinks, the people of Moray are right behind Douglas and his refereeing, as they showed decisively when they elected him as their MP just a few months ago."...

References

  1. ^ What is universal credit? (www.bbc.co.uk)
  2. ^ was criticised in November last year (www.bbc.co.uk)
  3. ^ defeat the SNP's Westminster leader (www.bbc.co.uk)

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Stormont talks: Brokenshire sets month-end deadline

James BrokenshireImage copyright PA Image caption Mr Brokenshire said prospects of a deal between parties to restore devolution do not look "positive "

The latest date for an executive to be formed to pass a budget is the week beginning 6 November, the NI secretary of state has said.

James Brokenshire said that would mean legislation would have to pass through Westminster by the end of this month.

This would mean the parties would have to agree a deal by 30 October.

Mr Brokenshire said while there had been talks between the DUP and Sinn Féin, prospects of a deal to restore devolution do not look "positive".

The Conservative minister was speaking to the cross-party Northern Ireland Affairs committee.

He also told MPs that progress in the intensive talks had "stalled at the end of last week ".

The stumbling blocks between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin were around language and culture, he said.

The secretary of state also told the committee that he "recognises public pressure" over the issue of MLA pay.[1]

He said he would will keep issue "under examination" and if there was no progress will deal with it.

The Westminster select committee is charged with investigating Northern Irish matters including the role of the Northern Ireland Office (NIO).

The secretary of state's comments come as discussions between the two main parties, the DUP and Sinn Féin, continue in an attempt to restore devolution.

The executive collapsed in January[2] and since then Northern Ireland has been without a government.

Despite endless rounds of discussions, a deal to restore power-sharing has proved elusive with the introduction of an Irish Language Act seen as the main issue.[3]

'To the brink'

Other political parties in Northern Ireland have been voicing their frustration with the situation.

Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann said Mr Brokenshire now had a responsibility to look at "options to allow other parties to get on with the job".

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the two main parties have "brought us to the brink of direct rule."

"In particular for the nationalist community, after years of trying to bring power back to Irish soil in order that local people could make local decisions, it should be a source of great anger that all of that power and progress is now being handed back to a Tory/DUP government in London," he added.

Alliance health spokeswoman Paula Bradshaw accused the parties of "showing a callous disregard for patient care".

"Issues such as missed targets and long waiting lists have direct consequences on people's quality of life, yet still we see parties putting their own narrow sectional interests ahead of the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of people," she added....

References

  1. ^ issue of MLA pay. (www.bbc.co.uk)
  2. ^ collapsed in January (www.bbc.co.uk)
  3. ^ Irish Language Act seen as the main issue. (www.bbc.co.uk)

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