Thompsons Solicitors welcomes a belated government acknowledgement that patient safety has come second to commercial interests in medical device regulation.

On Tuesday evening (12 February), health and social care minister, Jackie Doyle-Price, acknowledged that there had been a significant failure in the regulation of medical devices. She also noted a lack of transparency from doctors who failed to properly warn patients of the risks these devices present.

She said: “It is fair to say that, perhaps in the past, regulation has focused excessively on what is in the commercial interests of businesses to maintain competition, rather than having patient safety at its heart.”

“It has not always been easy for patients to investigate and find more data about the things being put in their bodies,” she continued.

“I say to those women who have suffered badly at the hands of mesh treatment that there are clear medical criteria relating to that product and, if they have any complaint about the treatment they have received, they should be pursuing claims for clinical negligence against their practitioners."

Jackie Doyle-Price, health and social care minister

According to an investigation conducted by the Guardian, UK regulators received reports of 64,000 adverse events following medical devices between 2015 and 2018, with a third resulting in serious medical issues and more than 1,000 deaths. Owen Smith MP, who secured the Westminster Hall debate, also highlighted issues with other medical devices, such as vaginal mesh and metal-on-metal hip implants.

Ms Doyle-Price is now urging those who have been affected by vaginal mesh implants in particular to pursue legal claims against the doctors who should have warned them properly about the risks involved.  She said: “I say to those women who have suffered badly at the hands of mesh treatment that there are clear medical criteria relating to that product and, if they have any complaint about the treatment they have received, they should be pursuing claims for clinical negligence against their practitioners.”

"We are currently representing hundreds of people who have been affected by mesh implants, a large percentage of whom are women who trusted that the medical specialists they were referred to would improve their lives. In many cases, it has, in fact, left them suffering from devastating health issues and, in many cases, a poor quality of life."

Linda Millband of Thompsons Solicitors

Linda Millband, lead lawyer for clinical negligence at Thompsons Solicitors, said: “This acknowledgement by the government that profit has been allowed to win over patient safety is as welcome as it is overdue. Now what women whose lives have been devastated by mesh inserted without adequate advice or warning need is a responsible attitude taken by the NHS to claims made against them so their continued anguish is time limited.

“Going forward, there needs to be an effective suspension of the use of mesh surgery in the UK and investment into alternative treatment options. Lessons also need to learned, with the suppliers who have sold the snake oil and the practitioners who have casually bought it being held to account so this cannot happen again.

“We are currently representing hundreds of people who have been affected by mesh implants, a large percentage of whom are women who trusted that the medical specialists they were referred to would improve their lives. In many cases, it has, in fact, left them suffering from devastating health issues and, in many cases, a poor quality of life.

“We are committed to fighting for those who have been affected by mesh implants and would urge those who have not yet sought legal advice to get in touch with our legal experts. You needn’t suffer in silence.”

#PatientsBeforeProfits

Thompsons has a long history of fighting on behalf of those who have been injured and ensuring that unscrupulous organisations and employers are held to account. That’s why it is campaigning to put an end to mesh implants and ensure medical institutions put #PatientsBeforeProfits. Learn more about the campaign by visiting this page.