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New pelvic health co-ordinators for Wales in wake of mesh review

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A network of pelvic health and well-being co-ordinators is to be created across Wales, as part of the Welsh government’s response to the vaginal mesh and tape review.

The government said the co-ordinators would work with a national pathway manager to implement improvements to pelvic health across Wales.

“This will lead to the creation of a network of pelvic health and wellbeing co-ordinators in each board”

Vaughan Gething

The work is to be led by the Women’s Health Implementation Group (WHIG), which has been seen set up this year by the Welsh government with £1m a year provided for its work.

The group have decided that the first year’s funding will be spent on establishing a number of key posts to deliver some of the recommendations of the vaginal mesh and tape review.

Health minister for Wales Vaughan Gething, said: “The WHIG has listened to concerns from the Mesh Survivors Group and has decided to appoint a national pathway manager to deliver the recommendations of the vaginal mesh and tape review.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

‘Real time’ monitoring of HCAIs in Welsh hospitals

Vaughan Gething

“This will lead to the creation of a network of pelvic health and wellbeing co-ordinators within each health board,” said Mr Gething.

He said: “They will have a clinical background from an appropriate discipline, e.g. physiotherapy or pain management and will work with the national lead to deliver the required changes to local services.

“The group is also taking advice from patients and clinicians on how to achieve the consistent provision of translabial scans where they are appropriate across Wales,” he said.

He added: “The group will now consider the recommendations from the report into endometriosis services in Wales produced by the Endometriosis Task and Finish Group.”

The WHIG was established in May 2018 to oversee specific areas of women’s health requiring urgent attention and improvement.

It is chaired by Tracy Myhill, chief executive of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

In July, the government and NHS in England accepted a recommendation from the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review to pause the use of vaginally inserted surgical mesh.

The inquiry, ordered by the health secretary and chaired by Baroness Julia Cumberlege, concluded in May that the surgery must be stopped until steps have been taken to mitigate the risks to patients.

In 2014 the Scottish government put in place a suspension in the use of mesh for stress urinary incontinence.

However, there is currently no suspension in Northern Ireland or Wales.

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