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Commission welcomes report findings into pelvic mesh implants

16 Jul 2020

Commission welcomes report findings into pelvic mesh implants

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) welcomes the publication of the “First Do No Harm” report by the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review.

The report examines those affected by medical practices including the use of pelvic mesh implants, and makes recommendations on redress and reforms across the UK healthcare system. The review team visited Northern Ireland and heard from many women who were adversely affected by surgical mesh implants alongside Primodos and sodium valproate treatment.

The Commission welcomes the acknowledgment within the Review Report that the system is in need of reform. Whilst recommendations are aimed at England, nonetheless, a substantial number are pertinent to Northern Ireland. Among a number of issues highlighted within the report was the failure to listen to women and a complaints system which is overly complex and diffuse to enable early detection of problems. The practice in Northern Ireland has undoubtedly left many women without the treatment they deserved.

The Commission has raised the issues highlighted in the report, in addition to the practice of pelvic mesh in Northern Ireland with the Minister for Health. Under human rights law, everyone in Northern Ireland has the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. We will continue to work with the Department of Health to ensure that any reform of the healthcare system is done through a human rights framework that involves those who use the service meaningfully.


Further information:

For further information please contact Claire Martin on: (028) 9024 3987 or by

email on

Notes to Editors

1. The NI Human Rights Commission is a statutory public body established in

1999 to promote and protect human rights. In accordance with the Paris

Principles the Commission reviews the adequacy and effectiveness of

measures undertaken by the UK Government to promote and protect

human rights, specifically within Northern Ireland.

2. Read the “First Do No Harm” report by the Independent Medicines and

Medical Devices Safety Review here.

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